Where Are They Now? Journalism Dream Leads To NY Times Desk

By Terri Seier
From the halls of Pope John Central Catholic High School to the world’s most influential newspaper. For Mark Getzfred, from here to there was a process of making the proper connections at the right time and place.
Getzfred was born and raised in Elgin by his parents, Ralph and Irene, along with his brothers, Robert, who lives in Elgin, Nebraska; Larry, who died in 9/11; Jim, who lives in Elgin; Bill, who lives in Lemoore, California; Ron, who lives in Dallas, Georgia; and Darrell, who lives in Lincoln. Together they form the Getzfred family of yesterday and today.
Where is Mark Getzfred today?
Mark Getzfred graduated from PJCC in 1975 to go on to the College of Journalism at the University Of Nebraska, Lincoln. Of course Mark’s major was journalism throughout his four years. Over the years, he has taken some post-graduate courses.  So when did Mark’s journey start?
Between Mark’s junior and senior year of college he did an internship in Norfolk.
After college, he worked in Grand Island for about a year-and-a-half, and was there during the ‘Night of the Twisters!’
After working in Grand Island he went to Maverick Media in Syracuse for about six months.
“After that I wound up at ‘The Journal’ in Lincoln, he says. About a year later, in July of 1982 joined The Fort Worth Star Telegram where he worked until 1989 when he left for Waterbury, Connecticut. In Waterbury, he worked as the deputy managing editor at the Republic-American.
After working as the deputy he then worked for The Journal of Commerce. “It’s a trade publication that covers international trade and transportation.” Mark said, explaining what The Journal of Commerce’s main focus is on.
After that Mark applied for The New York Times and has been there since July of 1999. That means he’s been working with the Times for 16 years.
He never charted his path to make it to the New York Times, or created a path in general. It was all just landing jobs in the right places and applying.
“I took the job in Grand Island and then I got a job in Fort Worth because a former professor at UNL was there. Then I went to Waterbury because someone called and said that they’ve heard a lot about me.” Mark said.
He said he “oddly applied” for the Times. He was going to leave The Journal of Commerce and a friend he worked with told him to apply for the New York Times.
Mark never imagined he would receive the job, but nevertheless, he applied and here he is today working for the Times as an editor.
Even though he’s working for the New York Times, and has been for 16 years, it wasn’t very simple to succeed in attaining the position he is in now.
“First of all, every day I am working with a tremendous group of very intelligent people, some who are experts in their field.” Getzfred said.
“The main challenges are that the New York Times has very high standards in what they publish and what they try to say. Therefore, there’s a daily challenge trying to make sure that we keep that standard.” he said, noting that the New York Times tries to delve deeper than other publications so that they can keep the public better informed.
Mark has wanted to be a journalist since he was in high school. “It seemed to fit my personality.” He says. “It’s a daily adrenaline rush. I go out and cover the news and then I go home and get to do it all over again the next day.”
Even though Mark’s journey has been long, until settling down at the New York Times for a while, his family has been supporting him through it all, both his parents, brothers, and wife, Elizabeth Austin. Even though his family is spread out across the United States they always try to gather together at least twice a year.
“I especially try to see Bob (Robert), Jim and Darrell.” It’s hard, he said, to visit Bill and Ron who live in California and Georgia. However, with the help of technology they are able to keep in touch.
“Email and messaging is an incredible thing.”
Though Mark has worked for the New York Times for quite a few years it has never gotten boring. He has worked multiple jobs: copy desk, night editor, ABD digital editor for the business desk, deputy weekend editor, and finally day editor on the national desk. These are only of the few of different jobs that the New York Times has to offer.
“That’s one of the nice things about the Times. I can do a different job and don’t have to switch companies.” Mark said.
The process to make it to the New York Times was hard and long but even so Getzfred has found a job that he enjoys at the end of the day. He will never get bored, he gets to receive his daily dose of adrenaline and he has the undying support of his family.
Mark is happy where he is working and with his wife of 34 years and, just like his uncharted past, his future is just as unpredictable.
That’s the way he likes it.