Editor: Bright days ahead for Moffat County and the Craig Press
Perhaps the best place to start is to just introduce myself and tell you how happy I am to be the editor of your community newspaper.
Craig and Moffat County are beautiful places with tight-knit communities. The Craig Press comes with a long, rich history and a far-reaching coverage area with much to offer, and I feel lucky.
I took the reins of the Craig Press on April 1 after Cuyler Meade was scooped by the local hospital. I know he will do great in that role, and I will miss him dearly. Hopefully, you haven’t seen the last of his bylines in this newspaper’s pages.
Some people may be skeptical about my hiring given I am not leaving my position at the Steamboat Pilot & Today to take the helm at the Craig Press. To them, I’d say I still believe there are bright days ahead for Craig, Moffat County and the Craig Press.
Let me tell you why. Looking at the numbers — call them journalist-hours — Craig stands to gain with my hiring. The departure of the former editor will leave a big hole in our staffing, and I agree it’s one I can’t fill by myself. But I’m also not planning to.
Instead, we’re going hire a full-time assistant editor. With an assistant editor and our reporter, freelance writers and columnists, I’m coming into this role as a bonus on top of the the two full-time journalists Craig has always had. Additionally, by sharing an editor, the Craig Press can draw strength by bringing in additional proofreads, eyes on design, a wider network of sports photography and even more backup when we face employee vacations, sick days and turnover.
I don’t expect it will happen overnight — and we really need to get staffed back up — but when we do, Moffat County should see more local news than before, in addition to more great photography and tight proofreading.
The other piece I really hope readers will see with my hiring is that I deeply believe in community journalism. I have carved a career chasing community news, and I’m an industry veteran who’s been working at newspapers since I was 19 years old. I believe newspapers are at their best when they allow the people who read and love them every opportunity to see themselves and their news in publication.
There’s something I love about how small-town papers connect a community and bring people together. I love putting amazing photographs on the front page, knowing that the people in them will get peppered all day long with comments from their friends, family and coworkers. I’m not sure journalists at larger newspapers ever get to experience such a feeling.
So going forward, I promise that we will work our tails off to keep the Craig Press driven by local, Moffat County news. I expect readers will see that going forward, but for now, I just want to say hi and tell you how happy I am to be the editor of the Craig Press.
Eli Pace is the editor of the Craig Press.
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