North Kerry Donal Nolan and Marisa Reidy
OUR experience of life in Ireland's regional press is similar, having both worked solely for The Kerryman in the same territory for many years now.
That territory is north Kerry and west Limerick and over our years covering the most important stories of the region we like to think we have developed a good understanding of its most important aspect, you, our readers.
A week celebrating the regional press gives us a chance, perhaps overdue, to take stock and reflect on our continued purpose and intent as local reporters for Ireland's leading regional newspaper.
It is easy to identify the main reason our work continues to provide us with enjoyment and a sense of personal reward - that comes through writing as faithfully as we can about our fellow county people, our successes, our struggles and how we come to view ourselves in the bigger picture of national change.
We're north Kerry people ourselves, after all, and proud of this half of our jewel of a county. Marisa is a native of Castleisland now living in Abbeydorney. Dónal is a native of Tralee, who spent many years in Listowel and is now living in his hometown again.
For the past six or seven years we've been covering the territory together and it's safe to say we know a lot more about our home place today than we did as young reporters new in the job.
There's plenty of daily and weekly pressures in the job of course, notably writing to deadline and trying to give you the best north Kerry edition possible. But writing about the people of north Kerry and west Limerick keeps us excited about the job.
- Donal Nolan
South Kerry Kevin Hughes and Michelle Cooper-Galvin
"I HEAR there's a penalty points system on the way for jarveys using the national park."
It's an innocuous and somewhat puzzling comment but it sparks interviews and phone calls and ultimately results in a story that leads page 12 of our South Kerry edition.
Last year they fitted nappies on the horses and that made page three. Then there was the one about tourist buses on the Ring of Kerry and whether they were they travelling the right way round and, you know what, there really is a wrong way.
South Kerry inevitably produces its own unique and quirky news items, fodder for a local journalist like myself. Originally from Glenavy in County Antrim, I made the move south several years ago following more than a little persuasion from a woman now known as 'my better half'.
It's been a roller coaster journey ever since and while I'll always remain faithful my northern roots, the more time you spend in The Kingdom, the more it draws you in.
The GAA, Puck Fair, Jackie Healy Rae and The Gap of Dunloe - Kerry has its own unique identity and travelling the boithrins and thoroughfares of such a wide and varied landscape, unearthing the larger than life personalities along the way, can be an experience in itself
Along with veteran photographer Michelle Cooper Galvin, we strive to produce the best coverage possible across South Kerry. From our office in Killarney, the front window frames Mangerton Mountain and the McGillycuddy Reeks, a reminder of the breathtaking beauty of the area. Keeping an ear to the ground in such a diverse region is a demanding task and The Kerryman prides itself on news coverage that's of the people and for the people. Local News Week gives us an opportunity to celebrate this relationship.
Long may it continue... now back to that jarvey story. - Kevin Hughes
Tralee Simon Brouder
I'VE been lucky enough to write for The Kerryman since 2003 and some nine years after I first walked through the paper's front door, the job continues to be rewarding, surprising and, most importantly, interesting.
My career with TheKerryman began in June 2003 when, as a naive and green journalism student, I arrived in Tralee for a work experience placement. Less than a year later, I was taken on full time and I haven't looked back since.
My initial years with the paper saw me getting to grips not only with life as a journalist but also with life in Tralee. Close to a decade later, it's still great to be here; there's always something of interest happening or someone with a fascinating story to tell.
Tralee is a brilliant, entertaining and always fascinating. Since my earliest days in the town, learning the trade as a cub reporter, Tralee has become very close to my heart and I hope I've been able, in even some very small way, to help add to life in the county capital.
I've met many interesting, noble and wonderful people in my time in Tralee. Working with them, and indeed for them, is a privilege that cheers me every day. - Simon Brouder