Passion creates success for Columbus Telegram editor

Tyler Ellyson is editor of the Columbus Telegram. Photo: Columbus Telegram

By Colby Becker, NewsNetNebraska

Being a journalist was the plan from day one after high school for Tyler Ellyson. But the journey to achieving that dream wasn’t simple.

Going to high school in the small town of Laurel, Nebraska, population 957, didn’t make things any easier. Small town schools don’t typically have many if any, journalism classes said Ellyson. “I got most of my journalism experience from English class. I liked writing.” Ellyson attended Wayne State University and majored in journalism. Even there, there was only one journalism professor.

After college, Ellyson got his first job as a reporter in Creston, Iowa. He became the editor before moving back to Nebraska to work as a reporter for the Columbus Telegram. Even though it was technically a bit of a “step back” in Ellyson’s words going from being an editor back to reporting, he didn’t stay a reporter long. The editor in Columbus soon retired and Ellyson became the paper’s new editor.

Coming into the journalism field, Ellyson said he didn’t really have a focus in mind. He has always enjoyed sports, but never pursued a strictly sports journalism profession. “It’s a little bit intriguing because if you look outside my job,  all I watch is sports,” he chuckles. “But the one complaint I always hear from sports reporters is that they don’t like covering sports because it interferes with watching sports.”

Despite his love for Michigan football and Chicago Cubs baseball, Ellyson prefers his job the way it is now. He actually enjoys covering city council meetings which he gets to cover often.

Being editor of the Columbus Telegram is not really a position with one singular job. Rather, say’s Ellyson, it’s a little bit of everything. That’s how Ellyson likes it. When asked if he still gets to write stories on occasion he answers with lots of enthusiasm.

“Oh yeah definitely,” he says with a smile. “I don’t think that I would do this job if I couldn’t keep doing that some.”

One of his sample stories can be found here.

Talking about reporting and getting to meet new people really brings the passion and excitement out of Ellyson. He loves the people, it’s the reason he even went into journalism in the first place.

“If you’re a reporter, and you’re going to interview famous person X or famous person Y, they WANT to talk to you. Everyone has a story, and they all want theirs to be told.”

That’s what he considers to be the “fun stuff” in the media world. As editor he works with looking things over, tearing them apart, making pages for the paper and lots of organizational and editorial things. Nothing for him tops talking to all the different kinds of people though.

Many aspiring journalists want to break through and get jobs in this field of work. Many have the advantage of having taken several journalism classes in high school or at the college level. Ellyson didn’t have those luxuries. But, he pulled from within himself a passion and enthusiasm what reigned supreme. It led Ellyson to success as a newspaper editor at the age of only 32.



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