On August 5 of last year, I walked out of the Mount Carmel Register doors for the “last” time.

Little did I know that exactly one year and three days later I would walk back into that newsroom full of even more appreciation of the community that is Wabash County.

I worked for the Register for about three months last summer while I was on summer break from Indiana University. In that time I covered anything and everything: city council, charity events, the 4-H fair and Ag Days.

But it wasn’t the events that made me love my job – it was the people.

I left excited to go back to IU to get my bachelor of arts in journalism, yet I knew everything I was leaving behind here.

Shortly after I returned to college, I got a call from Ed Eblen, a Korean War veteran, asking me to be a part of his Honor Flight experience. I gladly took his offer and got the chance to meet even more great folks from Mount Carmel.

Even though it was just a weekend trip, we made memories that would last a lifetime.

On Decemeber 19 I graduated with distinction in Bloomington, and moved to Mishawaka, Indiana. I got a job at the Elkhart Truth, a 14,700 - circulation daily newspaper in Elkhart, Indiana, where I designed eight to ten pages of the paper a day.

I was slightly miserable.

I missed writing. I missed getting to meet and know people on a personal level.

Don’t get me wrong, I worked with some of the most talented journalists I have ever met, but I wasn’t doing what I loved to do.

On May 1, the Elkhart Truth was sold by the Dille family to Paxton Media Group. Paxton assured everyone in the newsroom that they still had a job.

Two weeks later, I, and about 15 other folks, lost our jobs.

A copy editor who had been with the paper for over 30 years left the paper in tears. A community editor who was a beacon to the community was laid off.

I wasn’t crushed, because I didn’t enjoy the work I was doing to begin with, but I felt a sense of emptiness.

For four years, people have asked me “Why would you want a career in journalism? The newspaper industry is dying.” And I never believed them.

But on that day, I did.

As time went on I really thought about my life choice to be a writer. I even considered going back to school to be a certified teacher.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that the industry isn’t dying. It’s changing.

What will never change, however, is good storytelling.

There will always be a need for people who are able to write with clarity, conciseness and accuracy. There will always be a need to share life’s common experiences.

There will always be a need for community journalism – the news that you need to know as a resident of that area.

Newspapers may not be the first draft of history anymore, but they remain the concrete proof that something happened and it mattered.

I was lucky to still be in contact with Phil Summers, who was gracious enough to give me my job back here in the community I fell in love with last year.

The small town hospitality you all have has welcomed me back with open arms.

And for that I am grateful.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.