What Else? Column by Andrea Howe

Andrea Howe

Editor, The Daily Clarion

More than 25 years ago my father (who, by the way, marks his 76th birthday today) complained to a friend at my hometown county fair: “She’s the oldest of my kids but I don’t have a grandbaby yet. She thinks that newspaper is her baby.”

He eventually got a grandson from me. I think he realizes Drew Howe was worth the wait.

But Dad was right in his assessment of how deeply I fell in love with the newspaper business.

I did think that newspaper was my baby. When I considered an opportunity to come to Princeton 22 years ago, I struggled with the thought of leaving my old paper.

I had a short talk with Dad, who told me, “Just go with how you feel about it when you wake up in the morning.”

So that’s what I did.

There was a little more involved in the decision. I came here to practice the craft of community journalism because I saw plenty of opportunity for stories to be told, and I haven’t been disappointed. We live in a lively community!

Learning last Thursday night that the California-based Brehm Communications Inc. family sold The Mount Carmel Register and Princeton Daily Clarion to someone else came as a surprise in some respects, but not necessarily because it’s something I never thought would happen.

Like banks and car dealerships and government administration and many other institutions in Princeton and Mount Carmel, ownership changes.

But local people are still involved in these businesses because they want to be in our communities.

I learned Friday morning that our newspapers’ new owner is Kentucky-based Paxton Media Group, another family-owned business — in its fifth generation of community newspapering.

Every business has its own way of doing things, but all successful community newspaper businesses have one thing in common: They value good community reporting.

I never thought much, in my first few months on the job with the Brehm newspapers 22 years ago, about who owned the paper I produced because I hadn’t met them. I didn’t think that was unusual.

Prior to coming to these newspapers, I spent more than 10 years working at a newspaper that changed hands several times, but my job of reporting and editing and telling the stories of the community was always clear to me, no matter who owned the business.

Over the years, I did have plenty of opportunity to come to know the owners, and I’m sure that will be the case with our new owners.

I’m happy to report that these newspapers that I fell in love with are going to continue focusing on local stories of the people in our community, with local reporting on issues important to you, keeping you connected with local information you won’t find in one place from any other source.

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