Having a career in community newspapers can call for a person to wear many hats.
Because our teams usually do not have the largest rosters, each member of our staff must have that ability to juggle many things throughout a day.
On a day-to-day basis, we find ourselves doing a lot of different things. One minute we might be working on a story for the paper, and the next minute we could be trying to figure out why the printer keeps jamming. A few minutes later, we could be helping a customer who has an issue with our website, to only find ourselves moments later helping a co-worker who has realized the toilet is overflowing.
The staff at community newspapers must be a team.
We pretty much have to be family, because many times the staff spends more time with each other than we do our own families.
The most important thing about the newspaper team is that we must be active in our community. The staff must be a part of the community because that is what a newspaper should be all about, community.
Newspapers should be about telling the story of its community. If the homecoming parade is taking place, the newspaper should be there to document it.
If students are touring the area courthouse for a class project, the newspaper should be there to take a picture. On Friday nights, the newspaper should be covering high school football games. If property taxes in the area are going to be raised, the newspaper should make citizens aware of that fact.
This week is the 79th annual National Newspaper Week, which observes the importance of newspapers to communities.
As a community, we should celebrate our newspaper. As much as the Daily Mountain Eagle celebrates its surrounding communities, Jasper and Walker County should celebrate the history and the future of the Daily Mountain Eagle.
The Eagle has provided nearly 150 years of news to our community. It is the respected, trusted source for what has and is happening in Walker County. The paper is the place this community finds the answers to whom, what, when, where and why. It is the place to announce engagements and weddings. It is also the place to find those sacred final words about a person each week. Here at the Daily Mountain Eagle, we take all these personal moments seriously.
During National Newspaper Week, we thank Jasper and Walker County for its continued support. The Eagle has been flying high for almost 150 years, and we plan on continuing to be your source for community news for at least 150 more. There are more people viewing the DME today than at any other time in our history. Our print circulation remains steady, while our digital growth has been substantial in recent year, including growing by more than 2,000 subscribers in the last year. Our website views, which are at nearly five million impressions per year, are astounding, and our social media numbers are climbing daily.
If you happen to bump into someone from our staff this week and appreciate the work of your local paper, please be sure to let them know.
If you do not like what we are doing, let us know that as well so we can do a better job of meeting the needs of Jasper and Walker County.
We all work hard to provide a service to our community. And we all believe that service is more important now than it has ever been. Thank you for allowing us to serve you.
James Phillips is editor and publisher of the Daily Mountain Eagle. He may be reached at (205) 221-2840 or email@example.com.