Hometown: Miami, FL
Birthday: Sept. 28, 1960
Bio: Linda Hersey launched the very first Florida Patch site: Old Northeast-St. Petersburg Patch, in December 2010. She focused coverage on the people, schools and events in the neighborhoods of northeast and downtown St. Petersburg. On the year anniversary of the Old Northeast Patch, Linda became Assistant Regional Editor in South Florida. She oversees the Patch that she grew, as well as four other sites: Gulfport, the Pinellas Beaches, Sarasota and Bradenton. She is an Old Northeast resident, but spends time in each of the Patch sites to get to know the people and communities where the Local Editors live and work.
Linda was a long-time newspaper journalist who made the jump to New Media in 2006, launching and running an independent news site in South Portland, Maine. She named it the South Portlander. It was a big hit with locals and small businesses.
Her background includes reporting, editing and working as a manager at daily newspapers in New Hampshire, Maine, Minnesota and Florida. She authored two primers for working journalists covering Native American issues, including "100 Questions, 500 Nations." She earned her undergraduate degree in English Lit. at Boston University. She is a soon-to-be MBA graduate of the Chapman School of Business, at Florida International University.
At Patch, we promise always to report the facts as objectively as possible and otherwise adhere to the principles of good journalism. However, we also acknowledge that true impartiality is impossible and human beings have beliefs. So in the spirit of simple honesty, our policy is to encourage our editors to reveal certain key beliefs to the extent they feel comfortable.
This disclosure is not a license for our editors to inject these beliefs into stories or to dictate coverage according to them. In fact, the intent is the opposite: we hope that the knowledge that our beliefs are on the record will force us to be ever mindful to write, report, and edit in a fair, balanced way. And if you, the user, ever think you see evidence that we failed in this mission, we wholeheartedly invite you to let us know.
How would you describe your political beliefs?
I consider myself a moderate on most issues, including fiscal. However, I trend liberal. I believe in the power, strength and influence of a strong middle class. I vote based on the candidate, not the party.
How religious would you say you are? Casual, observant, devout, non-religious?
Local Hot Button Issues
What do you think are the two or three most important issues facing the community?
- The future of the Tropicana Ball Field.
- The future of the city Pier.
- Economic growth and sustainability downtown.
- Creative arts and independent businesses.
Where do you stand on each of these issues?
I am fairly new to St. Petersburg and its issues. I have been surprised and delighted by the focus on the economy while maintaining quality of life. I do not have strong feelings for or against the Pier or sports stadium. I do hope that any Pier redevelopment will keep some of the Old Florida-style attractions that distinguish the pier and make it affordable. Where else in Florida can you pay a few bucks and feed wild pelicans?