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Staff Q&As: Meet night metro editor Kate Harmon

To 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 night metro editor Kate Harmon. You might have read her YDR Insider post in November about the election coverage she headed up, or related to her Smart blog post about hating commercials.

Name: Kate Harmon
Lives in: Hanover
Hometown: Birmingham, Ala.
Position at the YDR: Night metro editor
Years with the YDR: 10 months
Graduated from: University of Richmond
With a degree in: Journalism, psychology
Twitter: @katesharmon
Email: kharmon@ydr.com
Google+, Facebook: Search for Kate Harmon
Whatever you’d like to tell us about yourself: I tried really hard in college to run away from journalism — dabbling in philosophy, Spanish and psychology. But after changing my major a few times, I finally admitted to my family I was going into journalism. They laughed and said it was about time. I love to write, and I’ve always wanted to be a police reporter; no other beat would do. I’ve bounced around at papers in Virginia and Hanover, and now I’m here in York as an editor. It’s not something I thought I’d be doing until I was older, maybe with a family (Mommy can’t go chasing criminals at night anymore, kids), but I love the challenges and who knows where it’ll take me. I also am a crazy cat lady with one psycho cat. I tweet about her a lot. I’m sorry ahead of time.

1. What made you want to become a journalist? I started out writing horribly angsty poetry, plays and short stories as a child. I can’t remember a time I didn’t want to be a writer — except for that stint in kindergarten when I wanted to be a dancer. (If you’ve seen me dance, you’d know why that dream died.) Becoming an editor is only something that came up in the past few years.

2. How do you see journalism changing? I think that people my age don’t read print papers, so we’ll just continue to adapt to online and e-editions. But advertising revenue will have to adapt on the online end.

3. What do you like most about your job? The least? Knowing everything that’s going on in York County before newspapers hit the stand. And the adrenaline of breaking news stories. Hate the hours 3 p.m. to midnight.

4. It’s 9:30 a.m. on a day off. What are you doing? Sleeping, or begging my crazy cat to let me sleep more.

5. What’s been your favorite project or story recently? Why? Elections? Not. I don’t really do projects, except for back to school and elections. But I get to help reporters work on pieces, so that’s cool.

6. The drink that’s on your desk right now is: Diet wild cherry Pepsi, water.

7. Your favorite journalism-related blog you read or Twitter feed you follow: YDR blogs, duh. I follow a lot of journalism people on Twitter, but I really like Nicholas Kristof (@NickKristof)

8. What’s the last movie you saw in theaters? The last book you read? Rise of the Planet of the Apes. And I cackled when the monkey spoke. I’m always reading books, lately the Forest of Hands and Teeth series.

9. What’s your favorite place in York County? I love early Saturday morning trips to Hanover’s Farmers Market

10. What’s one piece of newsroom jargon that had to be explained to you? Well, all of it at first. But here, bonnet and block since they were called other things at The Evening Sun. [Editor’s note: As noted in Cathy Hirko’s Q&A earlier this month, the bonnet is composed of the (usually two) boxes below the paper’s name on the front page. They refer to newsworthy stories inside other sections. The block is just another name for it apparently confusing for me, too! See visual editor Brad Jennings’ note in the comments.]

Last week, we ran a Q&A with sports reporter Frank Bodani. 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.