President’s Message

Newspapers matter

On a long trip back from the Gulf Coast last month, I had plenty of time to think about the interesting people I’ve met and the wealth of information I’ve gleaned while traveling the regional press convention circuit.
I thought in particular of one speaker who marveled at the public attention newspapers have given to their shrinking numbers, observing wryly that we are probably the only industry that announces its own impending demise.

Community service writ large

I took a mountain of exchange newspapers home with me last night, seeking the answer to a question I’d asked of a friend during STPA’s newspaper awards presentation a couple of weeks ago. I was pondering the recent absence of community service award entries in some regional contests.
What is community service? Of course, I know the answer. We all do. The real question I was asking was this: Of all the stories we report, the events and meetings we cover, the photographs we shoot, the editorial dust we stir, what isn’t community service?

Not just native Texans, hardened journalists, too

Dateline: Wednesday, March 13, 2019. Canadian, Texas.
It was just another newspaper deadline day in the Texas Panhandle. Started about 4 a.m. Another 14 or 15 hours, and it would be over. Enough joe from the coffee shop next door, and we’d be okay.
A couple of days earlier, Amarillo’s National Weather Service had begun issuing a series of increasingly dire warnings that the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles would experience extremely high winds at midweek.  That was nothing new. Been there, done that. 

Past is prologue: Newspapers connect us

“What’s past is prologue,” Shakespeare once wrote. 
As editors and publishers of community newspapers, we should understand this better than most. We are also historians whose collective knowledge of the people and places we cover enables us not only to report the news of the moment, but to offer context and perspective to the stories we write. 
I was reminded recently of the significance of that role when attending the Valentine’s Day opening of an unusual new exhibit at The Citadelle Museum in Canadian.