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Talking It Over: Twentytwo years of reporting

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by Katie Erdman

Every Aug. 1, I observe an important anniversary. Not my wedding anniversary or even the anniversary of my birth but rather the milestone of another year as editor of this newspaper. This year I passed the twenty-second year mark. Unbelievable!

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As I reflect on those years, I am astounded at the many changes not only in the industry, but in the people we cover, methods of doing so and the location of our headquarters. I have worked under two different owners, had three typesetters to work with and conducted hundreds of interviews, covered thousands of meetings and snapped an unbelieveble number of pictures. We  moved out of the over 100 year old building and eventually into our current site with the Morris Sun Tribune.

It has been my job to chronicle history with facts such as births, deaths, marriages, anniversaries, retirements, accidents, etc. It has also been my job to inform as with covering school activities and meetings, city council decisions and other pertinent events. It has also been my goal to entertain with feature stories, columns, cartoons and pictures.

Time and again I come to realize how important it is to record these facts and events in print. We are constantly receiving requests from people to look in our archives (back issues of the newspaper) to gather information on ancestors or events of interest. People working on geneology search through papers for names of family members. Students search back issues for historical facts used in reports and other assignments. Parents and grandparents diligently clip pictures and articles to be carefully placed in scrapbooks and looked at for many years to come.

It is not just a job but a responsibility. A duty to give the best information, coverage and product as possible to each person who reads it every week. When I think about doing that, hopefully to the satisfaction of those readers, I am humbled.

With that humility I have to admit that the success of a newspaper really has little to do with the editor but a lot to do with the people. In the newspaper industry we rely on the people to keep us informed. We need cooperation when it comes to interviews and photographs. We need to have notices, ads and articles submitted to us in a timely manner. We also need support through yearly renewals and advertising.

As I begin my twenty-third year as the editor, I do so hoping that I can continue to offer you the best newspaper possible for this small town. We don’t always have big, high-profile stories or top notch pictures but our hearts are in the right place -- simply covering the daily and weekly activities of a small but prospering town while throwing in a little extra information along the way.

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