This year, that task is more special because I’m closing in on the one year anniversary of my return to my hometown paper, so the look back gives me a chance to see how the changes the staff and I made to The Cadiz Record are working.
For me, the most important change has been our emphasis on local news. This may be a small community, but that doesn’t mean there’s not enough happening to fill a newspaper each week with strictly Cadiz/Trigg County content. I feel like we’ve shown that to be true this year.
Part of our effort to refocus almost exclusively on Trigg County and its people included removing nationally syndicated columnists and bringing back some local writers.
I was very pleased that Ronella Stagner was still writing her gardening column and more excited at the prospect of having it in The Record again. Readers may have noticed Ronella’s column has been published a little more infrequently, and that’s because of some of her family obligations and, most recently, a health concern of her own. I’m sure she appreciates all of her well-wishers, and we look forward to seeing her words in print again soon.
Another returning columnist, one who has been back for just a few weeks now, is Mike Wright, head coach of Trigg County High School’s cross country and boys basketball teams. Coach Wright had written a column for the paper in the past on an on-again-off-again basis, and I’m always happy to publish his pieces when he has the time to produce them. I’ve received a good bit of positive feedback on his column since he started writing again, and I hope his busy schedule will allow him to continue writing for as long as possible.
Perhaps my favorite adjustment is the appearance of our product. In years past, I had the chance to institute a few changes here and there at my previous newspaper, but only once was I able to install a complete redesign. That was one of the first things on my to-do list when I came back here in February, and I’m confident that our current look is one that can last a while without any significant changes.
As far as stories go, The Record has kept readers informed on local events and several ongoing stories, some of the more prominent of which still don’t have a conclusion. Looking back on the previous year precedes looking ahead to the next, and I’m sure those stories will continue to be in the forefront for us and many of you, as well.
On a personal note, I’m happy to focus on all of these things rather than the fact that I’ll be turning 30 tomorrow. I’m also happy to side with those that tell me it’s just another number in a sequence, just like 2010 is one more than 2009.
(Justin McGill is executive editor of The Cadiz Record and can be reached by email at email@example.com.)