This week is National Newspaper Week; a week dedicated to recognizing the critical role that newspapers play in an active and healthy democracy and an annual reminder to support the vital role local newspapers play in our communities.
For me, it’s an opportunity to talk about the work we do right here in Madison County.
For those of you that don’t know me, let me introduce myself. Hi, I’m Shannon Hahn and I am the General Manager for The Record. I’m in my 11th year here and I can honestly say I have almost always enjoyed working for our community at the newspaper. Almost.
There is a famous quote by George Orwell, “Journalism is printing what someone else does not wanted printed. Everything else is public relations.” While I believe that quote to be true, the beauty of managing a community paper like The Record is that I am allowed the freedom to still lean into my heart some. And sometimes, that heart wants to sprinkle in some public relations.
Our goal here has always been and will always be to report the news. Every story we write —good, bad or anything in-between— is a story about our community. It’s Madison County’s written history.
This county is important to us. That’s why we go to work every day. It’s why we write stories or columns, attend meetings and ask questions others won’t (or can’t) ask. It’s why we stand on the sidelines, attend parades, concerts, pageants, plays, Eagle rallies and more. Those things matter. It all matters.
The facts of any news story will always be the facts, we don’t have control over that, but I hope you know that this community stays at the core of our values.
Community newspapers are at work for you. We are your watchdogs. It’s your stories we share. Lean in to the connection we provide. What’s going on with water rates, the school district, the jail build, or at City Hall? Chances are you’ll find a lot of your answers in the weekly edition of The Record. And if not, call us. We’re your neighbors, maybe your family or even your friend and your unanswered question may lead to further understanding for all of us.
I’m proud of the staff I work with at The Record and I’m proud of our work so I would be remiss to not use the opportunity of National Newspaper Week to highlight the vital role you play in community news coverage. Your single copy-purchases, your subscriptions, and your advertising guarantees our coverage of governmental meetings, school events, community events and holding public officials to account. Your continued support of our work is your hand in our community’s written history.
To quote our graphic designer and production manager, Opal Dennis, “It’s never a dull day putting together a newspaper”— I couldn’t agree more so thank you for the many opportunities I’ve had to do it.
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