Inside the Messenger: winds of change

Updated: Mar 9, 2020

Editorial by Chad Hobbs:

Messenger Staff


 The Meade County Messenger has been printing papers for this county since 1882. The one constant for this paper over those 138 years is change. It has competed with new inventions such as radio, then television, and now the internet, as the preferred news delivery medium of the people. Our reporters in the past have seen our county get its first telephone and watched as they were eventually replaced with the smart phones of today. The horse was replaced by automobiles. One room schoolhouses gave way to multi-million dollar architectural wonders like the newly remodeled Stuart Pepper Middle School, finished just last year.

 The Messenger’s first pages were read by a population that had just endured life in America as it was torn apart by the Civil War that had ended 17 years before. It brought the comfort of home to young teenage soldiers fighting in battles from the South Pacific to Europe and North Africa during World War II. I would like to think it is still being read by the brave sons and daughters of this great county who are stationed around the world today, defending us today.

 Change has come internally as well. The paper has been owned by three different families and has employed countless writers and contributors over the years. Some were more than qualified to take on the challenge, while others did the best they could. It takes a special kind of character to thrive in small town print. No one has ever become wealthy from taking up such a pen. The risks taken in digging through local politics and controversies surely isn’t worth the pay. Fortunately, there exist some of us just crazy enough to answer society’s call. A love for this county and its people is embedded in our hearts to the point that we are willing to offer up our time, talent and good names for the greater good of truth for all.

Telling our county’s story, while attempting to also make a positive difference, should always be one of the main goals.

 The paper has had its ups and downs - reflective of life in general. It has faced a lot of turnover for quite a few years in the recent past, and I think we can all agree it has been reflected in its pages none the less.

 Putting together a proper team is much like piecing together an old puzzle. The possibility of making a beautiful picture come into focus is always the worker’s intent, but all it takes is a few missing pieces to prevent the picture from ever truly coming into clear focus.

 There has been a lot of talk of change, as of late, regarding this paper. From the publisher to the news room coordinator, anyone who follows our pages has seen them both write about the subject. There has also been plenty of talk around the county by our readers, who have no doubt witnessed some of these transformations, in regards to the level and depth of our reporting. Many of you have fallen back in love with our paper. Others have not been so happy with our effort at remodeling.

 Our publisher has put together a small team of very diverse pieces who have come together with one common goal: raising this paper to new heights. To be honest, even I thought at first glance we were an odd arrangement of misfit pieces. However, it hasn’t taken long for me to buy into the fact that opposites truly do attract, each strengthening where another may be weak.

 Over the next several weeks, I invite you to come along with me as I take you behind the scenes of the Meade County Messenger. We will take a look at the people, and hopefully show some of the rhyme behind the reason of the recent changes in your hometown newspaper. By the end of this journey, we hope you will see why, for 57 cents a week, there is no better deal around.

See story here (week 10)

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