Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Editor and Publisher's annual '25 under 35' lists includes several rural (well, at least non-metropolitan) journalists

Ten of Editor and Publisher magazine's "25 under 35," young professionals moving the newspaper industry forward, work at non-metropolitan papers. They are:

Josh Bergeron, 26, editor of the Salisbury Post in North Carolina, where he was associate editor before 14 months as managing editor of The State Journal in Frankfort, Kentucky, where he "launched well-received redesigns of its monthly community magazine and the newspaper, which publishes five days per week, and its web traffic grew by 30 percent," E&P reports.

Taylor Buley, 34, chief technology officer of McNaughton Newspapers and publisher of the Winters Express in Fairfield, Calif.: He rebuilt the paper's website, linked it to social media, launched live video and created a tool for the community to share content, which has produced more than 1,500 posts, E&P reports.

Corey Friedman, 34, editor of The Wilson Times Co. in North Carolina: He oversees content for five publications, "writing editorials on statewide and regional issues for the group and local editorials for the company’s flagship daily," E&P reports. Yesterday he won the News Leaders Association's Burl Osborne Award for Editorial Leadership, for editorials that criticized the local school board for stifling parents' and students' voices during meetings.

Stephanie Highfill, 29, multimedia sales executive at Arkansas' Hot Springs Village Voice, which "has seen a 70 percent increase in digital growth in 2018 over 2017," E&P reports. "She also won Best of Show in the 2018 Arkansas Press Association Better Newspaper Advertising Contest beating out newspapers of all sizes, dailies and weeklies."

Mary Koester at the 2018 Clayton 9/11 Memorial
Stair Climb, one of her many community activities.
Mary Koester, 35, editor of the North County News in Red Bud, Illinois, about 40 miles south of St. Louis: "To increase reader interactions, Koester added various contests, more features, special sections, new columns, an online/social media presence and experimented with augmented reality," E&P reports. "Newspapers are the lifeblood of a community, especially a small, rural one," she says. "We are our community’s cheerleaders and ambassadors. We preserve the community’s history for future generations. It is imperative to help our communities continue to prosper."

Courtney A. Lamdin, 31, news editor of the Times Argus in Barre, Vermont, which she joined in March after editing three weeklies: the Colchester Sun, the Milton Independent and the Essex Reporter. The papers won many state and regional awards, and she won a fellowship from the New England First Amendment Coalition.

Kate Lisa, 25, managing editor of Columbia-Greene Media in Hudson, New York, who advises other young newspaper professionals: "Don’t be timid. If sources give you a road block, try every person or avenue to get around it to get the story. You never know who knows something, or knows someone else who does, so ask and be persistent. Be a pest. Show people you won’t go away until they respond. If people aren’t answering the phone or emails, get off your tuckus and go there. Put a face to the byline. Talk to random people on the street. This job is all about making relationships."

Rob Miller, 33, digital editor of the Bulletin in Norwich, Connecticut. He has "done wonders for the Bulletin’s website and their social media platforms," E&P reports. "According to executive editor Jim Konrad, Miller’s ability to manage the digital realm of the Bulletin as well as his growing writing and reporting skills led him to become the newspaper’s morning reporter, delivering the news to readers electronically."

Adam Rogers, 32, managing editor of innovation for The Villages Daily Sun in The Villages, a retirement community in Central Florida. Under his leadership, the paper "has twice been a finalist for The Society of News Design’s Worlds Best Designed Newspapers," E&P reports. "His individual work has won more than 40 awards at the state, national and international level." Executive Editor Bonita Burton said “Adam is the Swiss-army knife of one of the few American newsrooms that is still growing. . . . If the future of newspapers is bright—especially the future of community newspapers—it will be because people like Adam Rogers led us there.” (The paper is owned by the development's operating company, a New York Times profile noted. It has an outside competitor,

Samantha Anderson, 24, editor and only full-time staffer at the Cloverdale Reporter in Surrey, British Columbia, a Vancouver suburb that borders Blaine, Washington. "Under her direction, the paper has established a digital reach that surpasses other publications of its size," E&P reports.

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