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Quiet hero Doug Bell, editor of the Canyon Courier, retires

Written by Linda Kirkpatrick on .

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Doug Bell, managing editor of the Canyon Courier, officially retired on Friday, March 10, 2017, with a proper sendoff at The Wild Game. Surrounded by friends and dignitaries, former journalism students, co-workers and previous employers, Doug was no longer in a position to resist the praise, accolades and awards he’d previously shunned.

Douglas Carlson, a fellow hockey player shared the story of how Doug had saved two lives within a few days of each other using CPR. When a graphic artist at the Canyon Courier went into cardiac arrest, Doug breathed air into her lungs for 12 minutes while someone else gave chest compressions while awaiting paramedics who shocked her back to life. Four days later at the ice rink at the University of Denver, the heart of a hockey player stopped beating while Doug was playing goalie; whipping off his mask and glove and tossing aside his hockey stick, Doug knew precisely what to do, giving breaths for two minutes until an AED defibrillator brought the downed hockey player back to life.

Sheriff Jeff Schrader was in attendance, presenting Doug with a citation for his acts of heroism, something Doug had refused while editor of the paper “because I might have to write about you sometime,” he'd explained. Schrader had countered, “Well, I might have to write you a ticket sometime.”

Sal Christ of Evergreen Newspapers informed the group that Doug will be honored with the Keeper of the Flame Award for a distinguished career in journalism on April 14th at the Press Club. The sponsoring organization – the Colorado Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, for which Doug was a long-time board member – states on its website that ethical journalism strives to ensure the free exchange of information that is accurate, fair and thorough … that a journalist acts with integrity … that ethical journalism should be accurate and fair and that journalists should be honest and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.  Seems like Doug Bell not only passed muster but did so in a manner sufficient to be "distinguished."

During his career in Colorado Doug has worked for the Coloradoan in Fort Collins, the Greeley Tribune, the Capitol Reporter, the Boulder Camera, the Rocky Mountain News, the Denver Post, and Evergreen Newspapers.  He's also taught journalism classes at Metro State.

Doug was described as a mentor to many, one who makes time for projects that matter. His motto was “It is the duty of a journalist to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”

Doug had served as managing editor at Evergreen Newspapers for 11 years and will be replaced by Michael Hicks, former sports editor with the Canyon Courier.

To read a profile on Doug previously published in JustAroundHere.com, click here.