Write Again … Anatomy of a paper

Published 5:18 pm Friday, September 8, 2017

The Washington Daily News is a very small fish in an ocean of diverse and multiple media sources.

As such, economic survival is a constant challenge. Some prophesy that print media, newspapers as we know them, will someday all but cease to exist.

Now that would be a sad day, indeed, if such were to come to pass. We who have been on the planet for a good many years truly love reading our papers. It’s a way of life we’ve always known, always relied upon, always enjoyed. A morning without the paper, and a cup of Joe, is just unthinkable. Why, it would be un-American.

Not so to the younger generations. But that’s another story.

I was sports editor of the Daily News — full-time, but temporarily — back in the mid-60s. Mr. Futrell insisted that I take the job on condition of finishing school, as I needed to do my student teaching to complete my degree requirements.

When all of that was done, I was offered the position of sports editor with the Wilson Daily Times, but I opted for teaching and coaching. Where the big bucks were. Sure.

Anyway, let me just say that our little paper, right here in Little Washington and surrounding environs, has had some very good journalists through the years. To include those on staff now.

Ashley Vansant, the major domo, came in with the new ownership and has provided solid leadership. An Auburn grad – War Eagle! – he and his family have made this area their home, and we’re the better for it.

Mike Voss is the dean of the newsroom. Even though he’s retired — sort of, not really — his experience and journalistic talents are quite valuable.

Vail Stewart Rumley is integral to the success of the news reporting, and of all that goes into putting the paper together each day. And, believe me, a lot goes into getting out a newspaper. She is a seemingly indefatigable worker, and a very talented news editor. Very. An excellent photographer also, is she.

Caroline Hudson has made her mark and demonstrated her worth from the get-go. She’s good.

Newcomer Mackenzie Tewksbury brings with her enthusiasm and ability. Her future in journalism seems quite promising.

Kevin Scott Cutler does such a splendid job — and it’s not even his main vocation — with his feature writing. His personal story, his ongoing courageous battle with health challenges, is inspirational. May God grant him a full return to good health.

Mike Prunka has shown himself to be a very good sports editor, who puts in long hours, doing much of his work when most others are done with their day’s labors. He also can write well about things outside the sports realm. He is quite adept as a photographer.

Back during my short time with the Daily News, I worked six days and many nights each week. My gross pay was $60 per week, and my take-home was $40.01. And yet I thoroughly enjoyed what I did. Also, I was a young man.

Alas …

So, these are a few of my thoughts, reflections about our paper.

Oh. Lest I forget. The Washington magazine is as well done as any publication in that format you’ll find anywhere.

As one of my favorite authors would write: So it goes.

Let’s meet again here next week.