Community newspapering has its rewards and its…well…gunk

JOSEPH J. KOLB is the publisher of The Gallup Herald in Gallup, NM. And the way Kolb tells it in this piece for Editor & Publisher, life at his paper is always busy…and never dull.

In Kolb’s article, he mentions Shane Scoggins, publisher of the Franklin County Citizen in Lavonia, Ga. Scoggins tells a story that epitomizes community newspapering: “I was covering a story where I had to get into a pigpen to take a photo. After the assignment I then had to cover a swanky Republican Party fundraiser, which I went to still with gunk on my shoes.”

An enlightening article…especially for those of you at community newspapers.

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2 responses to “Community newspapering has its rewards and its…well…gunk

  1. Reminds me of a time this past summer when I literally crawled through the briars and brambles while following police to a large marijuana patch, so I could take photos of them cutting it down. Needless to say, I stepped in plenty of fallen leaves, buds and plants while doing so, giving my loafers a remarkable skunk-like odor some of you might recognize. An hour later, my shoes redolent with the smell of pot, I’m in my usual seat covering a county government meeting and trying to explain why I smell like a remnant of a Cheech and Chong movie. At least my eyes weren’t red.

  2. I started at a small newspaper and eventually worked my way “up” to The Associated Press bureau in Chicago, where I spent about five years. Never did I feel as disconnected from readers as I did then, even though my bylines often ran nationally and internationally. Now I’m editor of a tri-weekly and love rubbing shoulders with the community. My favorite community newspapering moment came after I’d written a big story about nepotism in public office in the coalfield community I was working in at the time. Anticipating I get some calls after the story hit print, I headed out for the afternoon. When I came back, my desk was awash in those pink phone message slips that used to be standard. The sports editor, who sat next to me, grinned when saw my dismay at just how many calls the nepotism expose had prompted. He leaned back in his chair and drawled, “Everyone and his brother called for you today.”

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