Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Young weekly editor bullish on rural journalism

Whitehouse attended the annual
conference of the International
Society of Weekly Newspaper
 this summer.
A 25-year-old journalist in Central Kentucky is preaching the power of the local press to anyone who will listen. Abigail Whitehouse, "a young editor and a purist, understands the blurred lines between professional journalism and the news one finds on the Internet and on social media sites, especially on Facebook," reports Teri Saylor for Publisher's Auxiliary, the monthly publication of the National Newspaper Association website. "She’s trying to set her peers straight, even if she has to do it one at a time."

Whitehouse recently became editor of The Interior Journal, a 3,416-circulation weekly newspaper in Stanford, Ky., owned by Schurz Communications. She told Saylor, "I’ve already trained all my friends. I have told them if they talk to me about an article they have read on Buzzfeed, they are going to get smacked. ... I use Facebook as much as possible. I use it to post traffic alerts and breaking news to keep readers informed. It can direct people to our website and to our print edition."

A 2012 graduate of Eastern Kentucky University, Whitehouse worked on the school paper, The Eastern Progress, Saylor writes. After graduating with a degree in English, she took a job at the Franklin Favorite, located near the Kentucky/Tennessee state line. She also worked at the Casey County News, before taking the job in April at The Interior Journal in her home county.

"Whitehouse, who recently received the prestigious Hazel Brannon Smith scholarship from the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors Foundation, knows her natural career progression might include larger daily newspapers, but so far, she’s not looking in that direction," Saylor writes. Whitehouse told Saylor, “I love the pace of the weekly newspaper. You get to expand stories further than you would at a daily where it is go, go, go. ... Weeklies are crucial to their communities. People always want local elements in the news.”

Whitehouse "sees herself staying in community journalism for the long haul," Saylor writes. Whitehouse told her, “I love what I am doing, and I love that I am here." (Read more)

No comments: