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Staff Q&As: Meet multiplatform journalist Abby Rhoad

Abby RhoadTo help you get to know our newsroom staff a bit better, a series of question-and-answer posts with each journalist will run on Mondays. This morning, meet multiplatform journalist on the night news/digital desk, Abby Rhoad. While most of us are heading to bed, Abby edits stories and places them on the page for the morning paper. You might have seen her posts on food and home decorating for Smart magazine.

Name: Abby Rhoad
Lives in: Spry
Hometown: Tiffin, Ohio
Position at the YDR: Copy editor/night news digital desk/paginator extraordinaire
Years with the YDR: Two and a half
Graduated from: Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, and Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va.
With a degree in: Bachelor’s in biology, master’s in journalism
Email: arhoad@ydr.com
Twitter:  @abby_beatles
Website: http://abbyrhoad.blogspot.com/
Whatever you’d like to tell us about yourself: I like reading, watching movies, cooking and traveling, especially now that I live so close to so many cool cities — although Columbus, Ohio, is still my favorite place. Go to Jeni’s Ice Cream if you ever visit! I’m a grammar junkie who’s into typography and design. I also love music and going to shows, but it’s hard to get time now that I work nights. My favorite color is purple. I just starting crocheting and am almost finished with my first blanket. I work part-time at Yankee candle and am now up to 38 candles in my two bedroom apartment. (It’s like an addiction.) I love avocados and eat at least half of one almost every day. Though I really like York, I really miss my family eight hours away in Ohio. … And yes, I was named after The Beatles’ album.

1. What made you want to become a journalist? I kind of fell into journalism by showing up randomly at a staff meeting for my college paper. Then, they offered to pay me to lay out pages, and I thought, why not? Since then, I love the fact that the job changes every day. I sit at a desk, but it’s definitely NOT just a desk job. I don’t think it’s acceptable or as prevalent in other offices to curse as much as we do. It’s also pretty cool knowing thousands of people see your work every day (even if it doesn’t have my name on it).

2. How do you see journalism changing? I see everything becoming more digitally focused. Hopefully, they’ll still need someone to make it look good! I see interactive apps as the next big thing. Also, reader interaction and community engagement in ways we never thought possible thanks to Twitter and Facebook. They provide a whole new way to get sources, story ideas, feedback and more.

3. What do you like most about your job? The fact that every day is different, and I get to be creative every day. I also like the deadlines. The least? The hours. I love getting to be one of the few people in the country that don’t have to set an alarm every day, but I hate being one of the few people in the country that doesn’t get to eat dinner at home or go to anything but matinee showings at the movies. I also despise our pagination system, Harris. I miss my InDesign.

4. It’s 9:30 a.m. on a day off. What are you doing? Definitely sleeping.

5. What’s been your favorite project or story recently? Why? My favorite project is working on the Accents page for Smart magazine. It’s cool because I get to play around in Photoshop and InDesign. I also love it because I get to escape from the “hard news” side of things for a while and revel in bright colors and shiny objects. Check them out in the July/August, May/June and March/April issues.

6. The drink that’s on your desk right now is: Starbucks peppermint mocha, diet coke, iced tea and water.

7. Your favorite journalism-related blog you read or Twitter feed you follow: Poytner and Columbia Journalism Review and Overheard in the Newsroom on Facebook — it’s hilarious and usually pretty spot-on.

8. What’s your favorite movie? Book? TV show?  Movie: “Empire Records.” Book: “High Fidelity” and “Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs.” TV show: “The Newsroom” (right now) / “Gilmore Girls” (ever).

9. What’s your favorite place in York County? I love York Township park. There’s a bench behind the York Area Regional Police Station, where you can see half of the city and the most beautiful sunsets. I also love Central Market. It’s such a great place to go on Saturday afternoons to grab lunch or a beer at Mudhooks.

10. What’s one piece of newsroom jargon that had to be explained to you? Picas. Not exactly a form of measurement they teach you in geometry. But now I can spot one within 2 points. The police codes are still confusing to me. And slot. (See Visual Editor Brad Jenning’s definition.)

Last week, we ran a Q&A with multiplatform journalist Stacia Fleegal. To read all of the staff Q&A interviews we’ve done so far, click on the “Staff Q&As” under “About us” at the top of the homepage.