Celebrate The Sentinel during National Newspaper Week

After reading Tuesday’s editorial celebrating local newspapers, it is only fitting to highlight our own.

Waking up each morning and being able to grab a new edition of The Sentinel is part of a routine many of us take for granted. Because it is the area’s only daily newspaper, we have come to expect its appearance on our doorstep or on newsstands at our favorite coffee shops and convenience stores. The behind-the-scenes happenings that make that possible are often overlooked.

But I see you — the 20-something reporter, just starting out, who moved to unfamiliar territory to pursue a career. You don’t have time to adjust to your new position. Within hours of taking a seat on your first day, you’re familiar with every main road and municipal division in two counties. It may not feel like home yet, but you write about it like you grew up here.

I see the seasoned reporter who follows an emergency call to the scene of a vehicle accident. There are onlookers who scowl at you for bringing a camera, as if time has made you cold to others’ suffering. But years of experience don’t mean you ever “get used to this.”

I see the editors who spend each evening scouring hundreds of inches of copy for errors and catch many of them before the paper goes to press. And yet, the feedback you receive will point out the two things you missed.

I see the sports department that remains enthusiastic about every local team’s accomplishments — near and far — and prioritizes them over any college or national team.

To the editor who deliberates all day over how to present the most contentious local news stories as fairly and as unbiased as possible. It’s a game no one wins, but your efforts are not unnoticed.

To the pressmen (and women) who spend the early morning hours of each day aligning pages, troubleshooting machines and speeding up production to accommodate for missed deadlines and malfunctioning technology — I see you.

I see you, too, delivery drivers. I may not physically see you, as your shift both begins and ends while I’m asleep. But the newspaper didn’t walk to my house on its own. Mail carriers aren’t the only folks who never have a snow day.

Of course, a paid subscription doesn’t pay all the bills. I see you, coffee-driven sales reps who make things happen. You are the cheerleaders who get our community excited about supporting news media.

And the office staff who field the calls, crunch the numbers and keep everyone else in line.

It is truly incredible that a small, rural community like ours can collaborate with the efficiency to produce a brand new product nearly every day of the year for more than 100 years.

As a past employee, I can appreciate the ins and outs of such a production. Today I can thank you as a reader. Your work doesn’t need a byline attached to stand out.

¯¯¯

Julianne (Cahill) Kilmer, of Reedsville, previously worked as The Sentinel’s education and religion editor until 2017.

COMMENTS