A return to the newsroom for new day editor
HARLINGEN — On a busy election night, the eager young intern rushed out of the newsroom with a reporter’s pen and notepad in hand, headed to the Cameron County Courthouse to join the rest of the local media awaiting the tallies.
His assignment was simple — collect the results and immediately return to the newsroom.
The deadline was tight.
The courthouse was a hectic scene, and the elections official made it clear that printouts of the results would only be available for the media.
“They didn’t believe I was a reporter. I was just a kid in high school,” said Ernie J. Garrido. “I had to rush back to my editor’s office to get a hand-written note to prove that I really was a reporter. That was my first day on the job.”
So now, as the Valley Morning Star’s new day editor, Garrido is no stranger to the environment and deadlines of a newsroom, especially in the Valley.
His journalism career began at The Brownsville Herald in 2000 as a high school intern and continued throughout his years as a student at The University of Texas at Austin School of Journalism.
“I consider a lot of Herald and Valley Morning Star journalists my mentors,” he said. “I really see this opportunity as my turn to work with great reporters and help guide those who are just starting. This really is a homecoming.”
After earning his degree in 2004, Garrido took an unexpected detour from his journalism career plans by working in magazine publishing at Time Inc. in New York City. He was there for seven years.
He decided to return to the Valley in 2011 and began working in public relations, most recently with the Brownsville Independent School District.
“I’ve learned a lot from all my professional experiences,” Garrido said. “I think by now I’ve worked in all areas of communication, but journalism has always been my favorite.”
As day editor, Garrido will work closely with the reporters and photographer to capture community stories and present them in visually-appealing ways. He will also help plan the daily news budget, edit stories and write himself.
VMS Editor Lisa Seiser is thrilled to bring Garrido on board.
“We have a solid reporting team and Ernie is going to help us be even better,” she said. “He is a smart, organized guy who I expect to implement a vision of what I believe is a great community newspaper.”
Newspapers are struggling and some other publications are doubling down on digital efforts.
But Seiser said her team remains clearly focused on creating a product that will captivate readers.
“There are so many ways to tell a story — different viewpoints, narratives and visuals — and that’s the exciting part of returning to the newsroom as an editor,” Garrido said.
An avid distance runner and college football enthusiast, Garrido lives in Brownsville with his wife Ruth and two basset hounds, Happy and Daisy.