If you’ve been reading the Journal-Tribune over the last month, you will have seen a new name in the bylines. I am the newest reporter at the MJT and I’m excited to be working at a paper I’ve read since I was a little kid (admittedly, I worked my way back to front, starting with comics and eventually getting to the front page). Unfortunately, I did come to the paper under…let’s say, not the best of circumstances.
On Friday, Jan. 11, 2019 I was the editor of The Madison Press in London and the following Monday morning, I was standing in the proverbial unemployment line.
The Press, which had been Madison County’s daily newspaper for decades, closed its doors for the last time after a series of cutbacks and changes that are affecting newspapers across the country. I say the “last time” because those of us who worked at the Press in those final months saw it reduced from a daily paper to being printed two days a week, before closing the London office and going all digital. Then within six months of that, it was gone completely.
To say the last year and a half has been a blur would be an understatement.
Now that I’m at the MJT, I will be covering the Plain City beat, which will go into the paper’s Plain City News section every Wednesday. It’s a wonderful thing to have the paper expand its coverage of the town in which I live. This is good not only because Plain City is in a period of tremendous and seemingly inevitable growth, but also because having a newspaper be part of a community is as necessary as having a town council or thriving Main Street. Hopefully the coverage helps residents stay informed about the community. My hope is that people see the value in that coverage.
As the world moves forward technologically, newspapers have to evolve and adapt to the changing times—that means competing with the demands of the day. Sure we put out a product for sale everyday but a newspaper is more than that. We ask the tough questions, cover the tough topics; all in an effort to make sure people are informed. Whether it’s good news, bad news, sad news or unfortunate news. News is news.
All that being said, I know this first column may have a more serious tone but I hope to cover a wide variety of things in my future writing. Aside from journalism, I have an interest in history and pop culture but I also have a deep love of food and movies.
So perhaps in the future we can talk about the perfect pizza or whether or not James Stewart is the greatest actor who ever lived (I do believe he is). Perhaps we can get to know each other in the coming months. I’m excited to get started here and help bring the news to Union County.
Oh, and just for the record: No, managing editor Chad Williamson and I are not related.
-Michael Williamson is a reporter for the Journal-Tribune.
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