You know his name – you’ve likely read his news stories or opinion pieces before. Larry Reisman, the community editor and columnist for TCPalm and the Press Journal, has been a local news journalist since long before journalism branched into digital format.
Reisman, who grew up in the New York Metropolitan Area, went to college in Pennsylvania and worked in the Lehigh Valley for three years before making the move to Vero Beach in 1985.
In 1994 he became editor of the Press Journal, and in 2005 he transitioned into the position of editorial page editor of the newly formed Treasure Coast Newspapers, where he is proud of the work his staff has accomplished over the years.
“We have won a bunch of state and national awards,” Reisman proudly shared. His view of newcomers into the journalism arena stands at a level of overall big impressions.
“They’re not only aggressive and can think of angles before I do, but they’re naturals at things [I] never did in college,” Reisman explained. “They’re native to everything from creating online graphics to producing videos quickly. These skills, along with such things as effectively using social media, from Snapchat to Instagram, to reach new audiences, are critical as the public evolves into getting their news and community information in an increasingly mobile world.”
Reisman says he remembers using a manual typewriter in college. A definite cool factor, as many of the green reporters out there likely have no idea how to properly and professionally use a typewriter, and would have to contend to the realization that there is no “Ctrl+Alt+Del” or “backspace” to restart if an error is made.
A man influenced by his predecessors, Reisman has been heavily involved in the community. He served on nonprofit boards, coached baseball and soccer as his two kids were growing up, and enjoyed leisure activities such as golf in his free time.
“[I’ve] learned, up close, about a lot of the needs in our community,” Reisman said. “I’ve lived on the beach and lived on the mainland. I hope I can tell any person’s story. I hope that if one reviews my work one day, they’ll get a decent narrative about Indian River County.”
Reisman credits his community-driven conscience to John Schumann, Jr., a former boss and owner of the newspaper, as well as Alma Lee Loy, one of Schumann’s family’s prior employers. Loy is recognized widely as “The First Lady of Vero Beach” and has always been a supporter of children’s programs and fundraising for charitable causes.
Schumann and his family are most notably respected and have been awarded for their philanthropic work and public service.
Reisman has served on several nonprofit boards, including United Way of Indian River County and the Indian River Soccer Academy, where he is still an active boardmember.
“I’m proud of several awards I’ve received for nonprofit work, including the Bill Burleigh Award for community service,” Reisman noted. “It’s named after the former chairman of the E.W. Scripps Co., and came with a cash award.” That cash award, in true philanthropic style, Reisman shared with the nonprofits he worked with.
Although he doesn’t consider himself to be “cool,” his columns and the news he covers makes an impression on thousands of people through his journalism. The impact that has, whether he admits it or not, is pretty awesome.
“I try to be just a regular guy who is blessed to serve his community through his job, and after work as a volunteer” Reisman said.
Reisman volunteers with United Way, Literary Services of Indian River County, Indian River Soccer Academy, and St. Edward’s School.
“I’ve been grateful to have bosses who have encouraged my innovation and love for the community,” the long-time editor added. Reisman said his family is a major part of his support system. His wife, Lee, is a former golf professional and now works as a paralegal. His children are Rhett, a software consultant, and Britt, a freshman in college studying exercise science.
Reisman shared a recent email he received and was humbled by, as a glimpse of the support he gets from his readers.
“Larry, in a world where media has become the source of division, you have always supported the argument that pushed for communication and unity. You have always been out here, with us, in the midst of it all and cared enough to call things as you saw them.”
“Thank you for all the years you have provided a common sense approach to so many local issues. Not that I have always agreed with your opinion but I have always been able to see the logic of your arguments and never doubted your love for our piece of paradise.”~ Press Journal Reader
When he’s not busy at work or with his dedication to volunteerism, Reisman enjoys watching soccer, the New York Mets, and some minor league baseball teams, as well as experiencing new places in his community.
“I love finding new, cool places,” Reisman said. “I still haven’t been to every nook and cranny in Indian River County. I do have my favorite walking spots here and elsewhere.”
Reisman says each night he can generally be found in front of a computer or, during baseball season, listening to the New York Mets games while walking.
“Guard my tongue from evil and my lips from speaking guile, and to those who slander me, let me give no heed.”The Journalist’s Prayer, Larry Reisman
“This community has, in my honest opinion, a lot of people who really care about where they live and helping it out,” Reisman said about his community of Vero Beach. “The philanthropy and volunteerism in our community, especially retirees, has to make this place special. Look at the amenities and volunteers all over, including our schools. You can name one nonprofit after another fueled by their grace.”
Reisman said what he loves most about the work that he does is having the ability to tell stories that enable the community to thrive, and the underdog to get a chance at a life he or she wouldn’t ordinarily be able to have.
Reisman can be reached best via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.