COLUMN: A new beginning in a familiar place
Published 11:54 am Friday, May 5, 2023
By Carey Reeder | Staff Writer
When I began working at The Clanton Advertiser in February of last year, I did not think that in just 15 months I would be tasked with taking over the daily operations of it. Well, fast forward those 15 months and that is exactly what I will be doing.
When changes were being made, I had the option to pursue another opportunity at another newspaper or move up here in Chilton County to lead the creation process. It was not an easy choice, but the thing that pulled me to continue here was the people and relationships I have built and formed over my time here.
I think back to last football season and interacting with the Kiwanis Club here in Clanton just after the season began at one of their weekly Thursday meetings. I got to speak to everyone about the Kickoff magazine I put together and give my takes on the teams in our coverage area. It was there I realized that the community truly does care what the newspaper thinks, and I realized how much of an influence we have in the community.
Print newspapers have taken a backseat to some digital websites since I have been in the industry since 2017. However, in smaller communities like here in Chilton County, the local newspaper is the most important source for news, and the community depends more than ever on it to stay informed. When I was making my decision on what my next step was, the thought of leaving the residents here uninformed did not sit right with me. If I would have left, I would have felt like I was leaving some communities hanging because I feel like I still have so much more to discover and more stories to tell here.
Moving to a weekly paper and to a single-person newsroom will be challenging, but not one that I do not feel I can handle. I have tried to identify the things in Chilton County that residents care the most about, and that is where I will formulate my weekly plans for content. Going to one person will also take some help from those in the community wanting coverage for specific events. If someone in the community has something they would like in the paper or an event they would like covered, please email email@example.com, and I will do my best to accommodate that.
My goal is to not take a step back in any coverage we have done in years past, but tweak the coverage to better fit what the community sees as important. I am looking forward to the opportunity and leading the creative process at The Clanton Advertiser for years to come.