Reporting is a career that gets in your blood, at times early in childhood

Published 7:00 am Thursday, September 8, 2016

When you grow up in a newsroom, it becomes a kind of second home, and no matter where you go – north, south, east, west, big city, small town – that feeling of home follows you in every newsroom.

This is my new home.

I’m JoAnne Norton, a journalist. I’m the new lifestyles reporter at the Picayune Item, and I’m pleased to meet you.

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A brief bio: I’m pretty long of tooth for a cub reporter. My father was an editor, and later a publisher, for newspapers in Arkansas, Missouri and Texas, and I caught the bug from him early on. I started out at a weekly paper in the tourist town of Eureka Springs, Ark., and spent my early career at newspapers in Rogers, Fort Smith and Conway in Arkansas.

Later, I worked as a reporter at the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock and later as an editor at the “other” paper in town, the Arkansas Democrat. The Democrat wound up winning that war, one of the last great newspaper battles in America.

Eventually the lure of big markets took me to Bloomberg News, part of the financial services empire founded by the former mayor of New York. That job brought me to Washington, D.C., and sent me to work in bureaus around the world.

And now, my husband and I are on our next great adventure, this one in a lovely rural county in southern Mississippi. We chose Picayune before we ever saw it up close, and we believe we chose well.

Since I am new here, I need your help, dear readers. Please tell me what you want to see on the Lifestyles pages, what you find interesting, and what you think others might want to read about in Pearl River County. You can share your ideas and suggestions with me at and at 601-798-4766.

I can’t wait to get started!