All-Girl Band of Tough Journalists

St. John Tradewinds Publisher MaLinda Nelson and her 100-percent female staff exude a compassionate intelligence and enthusiasm that is simply different than the male-dominated newsrooms I worked in 30 years ago, when cynicism and competition seemed to go with the over-supply of testosterone. Which is not to say the Tradewinds staff shies away from hard news. Their coverage has raised tough questions about the Virgin Islands attorney general’s office not filing charges against the driver of a liquor truck who mowed down a boy at a crosswalk in December. And when a parks construction project is finished 10 months after the target date, the Tradewinds makes an issue of it. So I’ve been very impressed with this band of newspaperwomen and was glad they agreed to take time out from the pressure-cooker tension of the office for a photo this morning. They have graciously made me feel right at home in their midst during my stint as an adjunct itinerant feature writer.

It looks as if my reporting for the paper will taper off during the last week of our stay, because I’m struggling to get Darlene’s sister Deb’s new computer up and running, as well as that of her roommate Maria. I’m amazed and impressed at MSN’s online chat help function, which is politely performed by technicians with names like Shakuntala and Sabeer, but a couple of sessions today were cut short when I lost the connection right at the crucial part of their instructions. So it’s a struggle, and I’m determined to have both laptops running smoothly before Feb. 24th when we fly back to Denver.

No matter. The Tradewinds will keep churning out the news each week, and back home I will eagerly await each new issue.

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