Gordon Burnside is a regular at the MindsEye studio, always with a Starbucks coffee in hand. MindsEye Development and Communications Coordinator Laura Foughty got to sit down with him recently over coffee and have a chat about his life, career, and work with MindsEye.
Laura: So, Gordon, how long have you been volunteering with MindsEye?
Gordon: Well, I retired from my old job in 2006 and I spent a year fooling around so I think I started in 2007 so that’s 14 years!
Laura: How did you get started with MindsEye?
Gordon: My wife saw an article in the Belleville News-Democrat, and she mentioned it. I come from the newspaper business, I was an editor, so I said, “that sounds really interesting” and I came down for an interview.
Laura: That’s so cool that you come from the newspaper business, where were you an editor?
Gordon: I worked for the Intelligencer, which is a daily paper in Edwardsville, and I wound up the editor there for a number of years. I went on to do a magazine job after that, but newspaper work is my real love.
Laura: Wow, was editing a daily paper intense?
Gordon: It’s very intense– especially with a small-town daily you do so many different things, but a deadline is what makes it fun. It’s like a game every day.
Laura: It has to be hard to watch the shift in the newspaper industry.
Gordon: The worst part of it, in my opinion, is losing the local journalism. We covered school board, we covered city council stuff, we covered the courthouse– so that our readers really knew what’s going on in the community. So now we’re all plugged into national and international news, but we don’t know what’s going on around on main street.
Laura: Tell me more about what program you read on MindsEye Radio.
Gordon: I read the Wall Street Journal, not the editorial stuff, I just stick to the news. It’s well written and well reported– I have a lot of respect for the paper. They let me come in here and pick the stories, decide what is the news– which is what I was used to doing in my old job!
Laura: Yes, but now you’re doing minutes of content instead of inches!
Gordon: Yes, that’s right! I do a couple of stories for the front page, a couple inside, then we switch to the business and finance.
Laura: What do you read in your spare time?
Gordon: I read history mainly, and biographies. I just finished a wonderful history of the diplomatic side of the causes of the Vietnam war. That was a big fat book– I really enjoyed it.
Laura: And what else do you do for fun?
Gordon: My wife and I have eight kids; they’re all grown up and we have tons of grandkids and some great-grandkids and we spent a lot of time with them.
Laura: Tom makes me ask everyone this– what is your favorite pizza topping?
Gordon: I don’t much like pizza, but I’ll tell you what I like anchovies. I don’t get them much because my wife doesn’t like them! We mainly do sausage, that’s her favorite.
Thank you so much, Gordon, for sharing your talent and enthusiasm for the news with MindsEye Radio listeners! Readers, feel free to leave comments below and say “hello” to Gordon!