I was asked this week to name something in my career that made me personally proud. I didn’t think first of the award plaques that hang behind my desk, though there are several that live there, along with a few that have yet to find a home. Nor did I name the trophy that sits on the shelf facing me on the occasions that I actually get to sit there.
Instead, the top accomplishment that came to mind is that there is nowhere else on earth that people in our community can get news that belongs solely to them and appears in the Princeton Times. I answered that our team is privileged to produce a completely unique product.
For example, in this week’s edition, we will feature two ribbon-cuttings: One at Simply Beautiful Hair and Nail Salon and one at Kimberly Moore’s Jazzercize studio that opened in mid-September. While there are still a handful of other local media entities in the area who cover these hometown events, outside this region, there is nowhere outside Mercer County that this type of local news can be found.
National and international news can be found at the click of a keyboard with a Google search or a remote channel flip, and with the exception of whether you prefer your news to come with a Left or Right flavor, it’s all pretty much the same. But, only in places such as the Princeton Times, can you open the pages and see images of your neighbor stirring the vat of apple butter for the Carr Memorial United Methodist Church’s annual Apple Butter Sale during AutumnFest.
That’s inside this edition. Only in the Princeton Times will you find an image of the grandkids dancing to Monster Mash during the same festivities’ contest in Town Square.
Sometime soon, we’ll also print the schools’ honor rolls so they can be posted on refrigerators and preserved in scrapbooks for posterity and future generations to find years down the road. Monthly, we still publish the Health Department’s restaurant inspection reports, so that we can all ponder whether we really want to go eat ... there, or just stay home and eat.
And, one of the readers’ favorites is always the weekly police blotter report, so the neighbors can find out why the police cars rushed next door last night.
We honor the big accomplishments in small communities and share the small news that makes a big difference locally. It might not make a big splash in a big world, but it makes a really big difference here at home.
With National Newspaper Week just around the corner, I’m reminded of a fact a journalist I read shared once: Everything in this newspaper is important because everything that happens in this community is important to someone.
So, while my list of accomplishments that came in answer to that very big question I was asked this week may not seem impressive to some, it means the world to others.
My greatest accomplishment as a journalist has been sharing the events that mean everything to the people who shared their news with me.
For that, I am humbled and say thank you for the huge honor and privilege. Celebrate National Newspaper Week with me by sharing your Princeton Times with someone you think would enjoy it Oct. 7-13.
I hope I have done you proud on the pages you have just turned and will continue to turn of the Princeton Times. Please share your news with me now and in the future. Smalltown, community journalism matters, maybe now more than ever, because we share the stories of your lives.
— Contact Tammie Toler at firstname.lastname@example.org