__MAIN_TEXT__

Page 1

The Arkansas

Publisher Arkansas Press Association | Volume 92 | 1st Quarter | 2018

Published Since 1927


GOOSEBUMPS. GET USED TO THEM.

S I LV E R D O L L A R C I T Y

Vacations in Branson become family traditions. Cast a line, ride a classic wooden rollercoaster and take in an amazing show, all in the same day. Then enjoy our hospitality as your family decides what to do the next day. And the days to come, together in Branson.

877- BR ANS O N


In This

Issue

4 The President’s Column, Byron Tate 6 The Publisher’s Column, Ashley Wimberley 7 APA Advertising Conference 11 Feature: Monroe County Herald 13 APA Past President Feature 15 Profile: Hayden Taylor

The Arkansas

Publisher Published Since 1927

Published quarterly as the official publication of the Arkansas Press Association 411 South Victory Little Rock, Arkansas 72201-2932 (501) 374-1500 | www.ArkansasPress.org Ashley Wimberley, Publisher Ashley Wallace, Graphic Designer

2016 - 2017 OFFICERS President - Byron Tate Sheridan Headlight Vice President - Tom White Advance Monticellonian, Monticello

Events

Upcoming

May 28 Memorial Day - APA Office Closed

July 4 Independence Day - APA Office Closed July 27 - 30 APA SuperConvention, Inn of the Ozarks, Eureka Springs

Second Vice President - John Bland Times-Dispatch, Walnut Ridge Immediate Past President - Nat Lea WEHCO Media Inc., Little Rock

2016 - 2017 BOARD MEMBERS Rusty Turner Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Ellen Kreth Madison County Record, Huntsville Sue Silliman Camden News Lori Freeze Stone County Leader, Mountain View Eliza Gaines Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock

Past President’s Advisory Council (Living Past Presidents)

On the

Cover

White River Beauty by Kris Caraway of the Batesville Daily Guard.

Nat Lea, Little Rock, 2017; Rusty Fraser, Mountain View, 2016; Mary Fisher, Danville, 2015; Bob Moore, Berryville, 2014; Frank Fellone, Little Rock, 2013; Don Bona, Little Rock, 2012; Britt Talent, Rison, 2011; Barney White, Crossett, 2010; Roy Ockert, Jr., Jonesboro, 2009; Bill Hager, Van Buren, 2007; David Cox, Cherokee Village, 2006; Jeff Christenson, Harrison, 2005; Mike Brown, Bentonville, 2004; Charles Berry, Pine Bluff, 2001; Buddy King, 2000; Mark Magie, 1999; Ron Wylie, 1996; Pat Jones, 1995; Steve Trolinger, 1994; Ron Kemp, 1993; Jane Christenson, 1991; Eddie Telford, 1990; Derwood Brett, 1989; David Fisher, 1987; Louie Graves, 1986; Bill Whitehead Jr., 1982; Charlotte Schexnayder, 1981; Jay Jackson, 1968.

The Arkansas Publisher | 1st Quarter - 2018 | 3


President Byron Tate, APA Board President

Dr. Bruce Plopper taught me a lot when I was in graduate school at UA Little Rock – and he’s still imparting wisdom.

done on the inserter – and then go see the problems for themselves.

Dr. Plopper (he says to call him Bruce, but that’s so hard!) and I had lunch recently, and he was pitching the idea of newspapers getting more involved with potential interns through a pre-internship mentoring program.

By the time these college students have completed their brief associations with each of the departments, those associations might start to make more sense, and maybe, when the students get out of college, they will indeed be more interested about starting careers in the newspaper business. This new relationship between students and mentors also could be extended and enhanced via e-mail, Facebook, Skype, etc. for students who desire a longerterm relationship with the news outlet.

That’s a pretty easy sell for me. I’ve been on the Arkansas Newspaper Foundation (ANF) board for several years, and one of our main goals is to provide matching money to newspapers to help them hire interns for the summer. The program has been very successful. Specifically, we give newspapers $1,500 with the agreement that they will provide the same amount of money (or more), all of which is used to pay a college intern for eight or 10 weeks during the summer. At my newspaper, The Sheridan Headlight, one of our reporters came through the foundation program on his way to graduating as a print major from UA Little Rock. I call him our intern who wouldn’t go away, because once he started working for us as an intern, he sort of never left. Not every intern works out that way, in much the same way that not every reporter or ad rep works out, but the program does give newspapers more of a reason to take a chance on a young wannabe reporter and spend the time necessary to get them to a place where they are productive.

Dr. Plopper’s mentoring program idea has a solid foundation – in its need. In a class I teach called Careers in Mass Media, I drilled down with the students on what flavor of mass media they were interested in. Out of a class of 20-something, only a handful wanted to be print journalists. That was rather shocking to me. Yes, the industry has cut back on all manner of employees (At a newspaper conference I am attending as I write this, one presenter said that in 1990, there were almost 57,000 reporters at daily newspapers in the country. Today, there are fewer than half that.). But it would appear that we are getting to a place where there will not be enough journalists coming out of J-schools to fill the few jobs there still are.

Dr. Plopper’s idea is to take a pre-emptive step in that direction by getting college students who are interested in journalism into newspapers to acquaint them with the work even before they might work as summer interns. The program would have to have the cooperation of journalism programs because they would be the ones to identify their more promising students and then put those individuals in touch with area newspapers.

I like the idea for other reasons, as well. Having a direct line of communication with journalism programs is something the newspaper industry needs to re-establish. That’s not to say that there is no communication between the two entities, but this would send a clear signal to mass communications departments across the state that newspapers care about their students and want to be partners in creating clear career paths for them in the industry if at all possible.

Over time, with the guidance of one staff member assigned to each student as a mentor, the students would spend a few hours in each of the departments, getting to know the people who work there and, more importantly, the jobs they are responsible for doing. They would sit through a newsroom budget meeting and then watch to see how stories are submitted and edited. They might shadow a reporter, sit in on a department head meeting, listen to the mailroom supervisor talk about the work that needs to be

Thanks for lunch, Dr. Plopper. As always, time well spent!

4 | 1st Quarter - 2018 | The Arkansas Publisher

The bottom line is that we can’t wait until those handful of interested students become two or three and then fall to zero to change the direction this is headed. We may not know exactly what our industry will look like in the years to come, but we are reasonably certain that the world will need trained journalists. Getting more college students into that pipeline will make sure that we and they are prepared for whatever tomorrow looks like.


2018 SuperConvention at the

in Eureka Springs.

Date

Inn of the Ozarks

the

June 27-30

Save

The Arkansas Press Association

Photo courtesy of Eureka Springs CAPC.

Create, Sell, Profit‌Instantly!

Go to miadwizard.com

A new revenue tool, MiAD Wizard generates targeted print, online and mobile spec ads in seconds to close more sales with every appointment.

No training. No time wasted. No more tough sells. Contact Gwen Tomaselli at:

800.223.1600

gtomaselli@metro-email.com metrocreativeconnection.com

The Arkansas Publisher | 1st Quarter - 2018 | 5


Publisher

Ashley Wimberley, APA Executive Director

It is such an honor for me to be named executive director of the Arkansas Press Association, an organization I have been involved with all my life. As many of you know, I grew up in a newspaper family in Northeast Arkansas, and the APA conventions were always an important time of the year for us as we renewed acquaintances with old friends and met new people in the industry. I grew up with many of the children of newspaper publishers from across our great state. A list of those family names would represent a key to a vital period of the history of Arkansas’s newspaper industry. The Arkansas Press Association, the oldest trade organization in the state, has a proud tradition of serving this important industry and in protecting and promoting community journalism for almost 150 years. In looking at that history, and the critical importance of newspapers in our society, I understand that our staff at the APA has been entrusted with a vital mission as we move forward with all our newspaper colleagues from around the state. There is no question we face many challenges in the future, but I always have been impressed with the adaptability of our industry. I am confident that, working together, we can face such issues as news transitioning to digital, tariffs on newsprint and legislative attacks on the FOIA in recent sessions. We are definitely in a period of transition, but I am proud of the leadership being shown by our newspaper friends from around the state and the nation. Our APA staff will be focused on helping in any way possible to meet these challenges with a variety of educational opportunities and seminars. Of course, we always are available for assistance to our members in any issues you face. With that in mind, we always welcome feedback on any ideas you have for a more

6 | 1st Quarter - 2018 | The Arkansas Publisher

effective APA. Please let us know how we may serve you better. A great educational opportunity for our member newspapers and associate members is our upcoming annual convention. The APA staff and convention committee currently are developing a great program for the convention, June 27-30, at the Inn of the Ozarks in Eureka Springs. This is a great time to get together in a learning environment from the numerous exciting presentations as well as picking up great tips and ideas from your colleagues across the state. It’s also a good time to have fun – I know my family did just that over the years. We invite all of you to make the APA convention an important part of your newspaper year. As I noted, I have been around newspapers virtually all my life and I continue to marvel at what an exciting endeavor this is for all of us. We provide the first draft of history and continue to be at the center of the fabric of life in our communities and our state. We should approach our roles with both humility and gratitude.  Perhaps no one has said better than the “First Lady” of Arkansas journalism, long-time publisher Charlotte Schexnayder (in an APA feature story also included in this issue of the Arkansas Publisher): “I believe the small-town newspaper will remain a part of our lives. It will survive in the future in some form, and will continue to document news along with births, deaths, funerals, commencements and weddings. A free press is the guardian of our democracy. In whatever form, it must be preserved.” We are on a path that has a tremendous tradition – and certainly an argument could be made that newspapers and quality journalism are more important today than ever. The APA looks forward to working with you into a positive and productive future.


Ad Conference

APA Advertising Conference Sweepstakes Winners

Kristi Nall, Advance Monticellonian, Monticello; Samantha Walker, Advance Monticellonian, Monticello; Rusty Fraser, Stone County Leader, Mountain View; Staci Miller, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock; Kelly Freudensprung, Saline Courier, Benton.

‘Hot Ideas’ Winners

Best of Show

Congrats to the winners of the 2018 Hot Ideas Contest at the APA Ad Conference. From left to right, Kelly Freudensprung of the Saline Courier in Benton (2nd Place), Daphne Morton of the Stone County Leader in Mountain View (3rd Place) and Todd Edwards of the Harrison Daily Times (1st Place). Ashley Wimberley, third from left, presented the cash prizes.

Stephanie Dodson, Hot Springs Village Voice (left) is presented the Best of Show award by APA Executive Director Ashley Wimberley.

The Arkansas Publisher | 1st Quarter - 2018 | 7


APA Weekly Newspaper Award Winners

(Front row, left to right) Samantha Walker, Advance Monticellonian, Monticello; Kristi Nall, Advance Monticellonian, Monticello; LeAnn Brown, Sheridan Headlight; Daphne Morton, Stone County Leader, Mountain View; Brian Huntley, Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Fayetteville; (back row, left to right) Stephanie Dodson, Hot Springs Village Voice; Jennifer Allen, Gatehouse Media; Shantelle Redden, The Times Dispatch, Walnut Ridge; Carrie Johnson, Pacesetting Times, Horseshoe Bend; David Hoye, Carroll County News, Berryville; Ed Coates, Stone County Leader, Mountain View; Opal Dennis, Madison County Record, Huntsville.

APA Daily Newspaper Award Winners

Daily Winners – (Front row, left to right) Debbie Melvin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock; Emily Partridge, Arkansas DemocratGazette, Little Rock; Sheri Underdown, Harrison Daily Times; Debe Johnson, The Sentinel-Record, Hot Springs; Pat Stuckey, Saline Courier, Benton; Julie Albritton, Saline Courier, Benton; (back row, left to right) Vicki Morgan, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock; LeAnne Hunter, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock; Wendy Miller, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock; Cody Graves, Arkansas DemocratGazette, Little Rock; Staci Miller, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock; Brian Huntley, Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Fayetteville; Jon-Claude Whillock, Harrison Daily Times; Brandon Collins, Harrison Daily Times; Kelly Freudensprung, Saline Courier, Benton; Ronnie Bell, El Dorado News-Times.

8 | 1st Quarter - 2018 | The Arkansas Publisher


1

2

3

4

6

5

1) Lori Freeze of the Stone County Leader in Mountain View reviews the APA Networks Program flyer. 2) Weekly newspaper representatives participate in a round table discussion, sharing successes and challenges. 3) Featured conference speaker Kelly Wirges presents to the group the necessity of keeping your sales funnel full. 4) Debe Johnson of The Sentinel-Record in Hot Springs shared a hot idea at the Friday morning breakfast. 5) Attendees from the state’s daily newspapers share ideas. 6) Shantelle Redden of The Times-Dispatch in Walnut Ridge with one of her many first place awards.

The Arkansas Publisher | 1st Quarter - 2018 | 9


1

2

3

4 5

Newspapers representatives from across the state showcase their first place awards: 1) the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette team 2) the Harrison Daily Times team 3) LeeAnn Brown with the Sheridan Headlight 4) Pat Stuckey, Kelly Freudensprung and Julie Albritton with the Saline Courier in Benton, and 5) Stephanie Dodson and Jennifer Allen with the Hot Springs Village Voice.

10 | 1st Quarter - 2018 | The Arkansas Publisher


Monroe County and newspapers inseparable By Frank Fellone

Newspapers here date to 1875, with the Brinkley Times and publishing pioneer Col. W.W. Folsom, president of the Arkansas Press Association in 1888. Today’s publisher of the Monroe County Herald, and its managing editor, are members of a family that’s been around here a while, too — five generations of farmers and business people. Hayden Taylor is publisher of the weekly newspaper; his mother, Beth, is the managing editor. Small towns and small newspapers being what they are, she also runs a boutique next to the newspaper and a cafe next to the boutique. This is a big country, with lots of newspapers, but it’s hard to conceive of another newspaper so closely connected to chicken cordon bleu in puff pastry. The cafe special of the day was hard to resist, the Hubby Sandwich, inspired by Beth’s husband, Larry. “Got to make a living,” Beth Taylor said over lunch, sitting at a table in the busy cafe with Hayden and her father, retired farmer Drury Traylor, 85. Hayden, 20, and his sister, Catherine 18, constitute the fifth generation. Catherine’s a freshman at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. Larry is custodian at First Baptist Church of Brinkley, which appears to be one of the two biggest buildings in town, the other being a grain elevator. He also serves on the Brinkley City Council, Hayden’s prime area of coverage. Yes, Brinkley is a small Arkansas town.

Population is right at 2,800, as reported in 2016 by the U.S. Census Bureau. Hayden bought the Central Delta Argus-Sun right after a December 2016 fire at the newspaper’s Brinkley office. By January, at 19 years old, he was publisher of the renamed Monroe County Herald. This is a big country, with lots of newspapers, but it’s hard to conceive of a publisher younger than 19. Hayden’s now 20, and will be 21 in May. Hayden thus carries on the history of newspapers here. Col. Folsom was succeeded by his son, W.B. Folsom, publisher from 1891 to 1948, when the newspaper was bought by Mason Clifton. The Argus-Sun was published by Katie Jacques for 20 years. Her husband, Tom, said the newspaper was bought from the Clifton family. Bill Sayger, local historian and director of the Central Delta Depot Museum, appreciates the value of the newspaper. “I think it’s very important. It helps create a sense of community.” No one would know that better than Glenda Arnett. She came to the Argus in 1967, two months after graduation from Brinkley High School. Her twin sister, Linda, actually worked at the Argus first. For one day. Linda hated it, Glenda said. So Glenda applied and was hired. “It’s been my only job.” Retirement isn’t likely.

The Arkansas Publisher | 1st Quarter - 2018 | 11


“I couldn’t stand being at home,” she said. “I’d be bored to death.”

is mailed from the Brinkley post office and delivered to boxes and convenience stores around Monroe County.

Early on, Glenda worked as a linotype operator. She also called around town for “locals,” news of folks “who had been anywhere or had anyone come visit them over the week.”

In between is the work of gathering and displaying the news. The latter is the job of Emily Johnson. Lots of people do the former, including Hayden. He covers the Brinkley City Council regularly, and would like to expand regular coverage to county government, Clarendon city government and other municipalities in the county.

“She’ll work until she’s 98,” Beth added. Can the newspaper function without Glenda? “We’d try our darnedest,” Hayden said, “but we’d likely fail.” Arnett gets the work week started on Monday morning when she transfers the shopper’s electronic files to the Forrest City Times-Herald, which prints both the shopper and the Monroe County Herald. Those jobs previously were done at Stuttgart, Hayden said, but that town’s newspaper, the Stuttgart Daily Leader, is now printed at the Pine Bluff Commercial. Arnett drives to Forrest City, about 25 miles away, and brings back the printed shopper. Back in Brinkley, two inserts are added by hand. Two high school students and two retirees typically help insert, as does Hayden’s grandmother, Garnette Traylor. “I’ve tried to give her something else to do, and tried to make her go home early,” he said. “But Garnette does what Garnette wants to do.” Copies of the shopper are prepared for mailing on Tuesday from post offices in Brinkley, Clarendon, Holly Grove and Biscoe. Wednesday is print day for the Herald. The newspaper

The Herald solicits news from its readers and, Hayden said, letters to the editor. The newspaper doesn’t have an editorial page.  “People are encouraged to send in anything they might like to see in the paper,” Beth said. Obituaries are free. A small charge was tried, she said, “but people had an absolute fit. We’re a very small area, and obituaries are still news. Once the newspaper is mailed, everybody goes home. What happens on Fridays, she said, is “absolutely nothing.” Back at the cafe, the farm crowd is eating. Farmers are notoriously pessimistic. As the saying goes, they lose money in a wet year and go broke in a dry year. Or maybe it’s the other way around. So how is the local farm economy? Beth spots a couple of, as she said, big farmers. “I’ll ask them.” A few minutes later she’s back. “They said farming is tricky.”

Glenda Arnett (left) has worked at the newspaper in Brinkley since 1967. Her sister first had the job, but hated it. Glenda tried it and carries on now in her 51st year of service. One of Brinkley’s attraction is the Central Delta Depot Museum, just a few blocks down the street from the Monroe County Herald.

12 | 1st Quarter - 2018 | The Arkansas Publisher


Feature

APA Past President

Charlotte Schexnayder recalls the joys of newspaper life Charlotte Tillar Schexnayder attended her first Arkansas Press Association conference in 1945 as editor of The McGehee Times. “I was there to pick up an award of excellence from APA,” said the 94-yearold former editor and publisher of the Dumas Clarion. Cozy in her room at a nursing facility in West Little Rock, she began to recall a newspaper career that took her to all 50 states and five countries. Melvin Schexnayder returned from service in World War II and they married in 1946. After completing degrees at Louisiana State University

(LSU), they moved to Texas where Melvin went to work as an engineer. But the pull of Arkansas and Charlotte’s widowed mother, Bertha Tillar, was strong. The couple answered W.M. Jackson’s request to run The McGehee Times as a team, with Charlotte as editor and Melvin as ad manager. After they had worked in McGehee six years, the Schexnayders were recruited by the people of Dumas to run the Clarion. “Jack Dante, a friend of Melvin’s through the Boy Scouts, said they would put up the money and we could pay them back when we could. Now that’s an offer,” she said. On March 4, 1954, they began a 44-year stint at the Dumas Clarion. Running a newspaper had been Charlotte’s dream since she created her first four-page edition as a seventh-grade English project. “All my life I wanted to be a newspaper editor,” she recalled. “There was never a day I didn’t find it challenging. Journalism was my calling, and I think you have to truly enjoy what you do and find a purpose in it. I did. It was the hardest work, and the most rewarding. But many times, it was just fun!” Fun is also how Charlotte describes the Arkansas Press Association (APA) conferences throughout the years. When her children were young, her mother came along and kept the kids while she and Melvin attended the meetings. Then the whole family enjoyed socializing.

Charlotte Schexnayder holds a copy of the Dumas Clarion.

“From the beginning we tried to go to APA meetings – we loved them. It was like a large family you saw twice a year,” she said. “We were career newspaper people, and family ownership was the bedrock of APA back then. Arkansas families owned papers for generations. APA members worked very hard, and we enjoyed exchanging

stories and getting together.” Both Schexnayders became president of the APA board – Melvin in 1962 and Charlotte in 1981. Charlotte also served as president of the National Federation of Press Women in the late ‘70s and the National Newspaper Association in the ‘90s. Leadership in industry organizations took her around the country and the world. However, her home remained the Arkansas Delta. “Dumas is a wonderful, wonderful community,” she said. “The people there may disagree, call you names and even threaten you, but they realize you are the heart and soul of the community. They, most of them, want you to succeed.” Charlotte wrote four editorials a week for more than four decades. “I am proud that some of my editorials led to change that was needed, like the new high school,” she said. “I stood for people who had no voice, and when I saw an injustice I tried to address it. Sometimes there were too many to address.” She recalls that during the years they ran the Dumas Clarion, Arkansas newspaper owners helped each other by loaning equipment or emergency press time. One time when the Clarion presses broke down, the Schexnayders were able to print their paper in Stuttgart. Another time they were able to use facilities in Cabot. Charlotte had a second career as an member of the Arkansas General Assembly from 1984 to 1999. The couple sold the Clarion in 1988, and Melvin passed away in 2007. “Salty Old Editor – An Adventure in Ink,” a delightful autobiography, was published by Charlotte in 2012. She remained a powerful community leader in Dumas until she moved to Little Rock to be closer to some of her

The Arkansas Publisher | 1st Quarter - 2018 | 13


family. That family now includes her three children, nine grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren, with two more greats on the way. Last year Charlotte was planning on attending the 2017 APA conference when a fall and a bout with pneumonia changed her course. She doesn’t see well because of macular degeneration, but she has many visitors and gets out fairly often with friends and family. Her voice remains clear and deliberate when discussing the future of the newspaper industry. “I believe the small-town newspaper will remain a part of our lives. It will survive in the future in some form, and will continue to document news along with births, deaths, funerals, commencements and weddings,” Charlotte said. “A free press is the guardian of our democracy. In whatever form, it must be preserved.”

Photo of Charlotte Schexnayder courtesy of Clinton School Photography.

“A free press is the guardian of our democracy. In whatever form, it must be preserved.”

– Charlotte Schexnayder

INDEPENDENTLY OWNED The Leader is Stone County’s most widely read newspaper; reaching more than 82% of households with 4,450 average paid circulation in 2014.

For our tourism market, advertise in the Stone County Visitors Guide; published each Spring and Fall with 45,000 copies total published annually.

Over 1.3 million royalty-free photos, illustrations, graphics, artwork, and more! 309.296.0230 | creativeoutlet.com 14 | 1st Quarter - 2018 | The Arkansas Publisher

Stone County

LEADER

870-269-3841

PO Box 509 • 104 W. Main Mountain View, Arkansas www.stonecountyleader.com


r o l y a T n e d y a H Youth is served in Brinkley; readers, too By Frank Fellone This town’s most famous son is musician Louis Jordan, the King of the Jukebox who revolutionized popular music from the 1930s to the 1950s. Chasing Jordan, one newspaper at a time, is Hayden Taylor, editor and publisher of the Monroe County Herald. Taylor’s claim to fame? He became a publisher at 19. On his next birthday, on May 24, he’ll be 21. Taylor’s been featured near (the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette) and far (the Washington Times and Miami Herald), as well as on National Public Radio and in other publications around the country. No wonder. He bought Brinkley’s Central Delta Argus-Sun in January 2017 without any newspaper experience. Now, 15 months later, the renamed Herald operates out of a storefront at 322 West Cypress, a block from the center of downtown Brinkley.

said, a total which includes about 700 subscribers by mail and about 300 at convenience stores and boxes in Monroe County. Supplementing the newspaper is the Monroe County Shopper, mailed to about 5,000 households in Monroe and Lee counties. Taylor describes his circulation as “steady” since the creation of Hayden Taylor Publishing, LLC. In one way, that storefront is hard to miss. It’s in a building that’s one story high and lime green. Facing the building, from left to right, are the newspaper, a retail shop and a cafe. In another way, the newspaper is a little bit hard to find. “Our sign fell off a couple of days ago and we haven’t put it back up yet,” Taylor said. That’s the life of any weekly newspaper publisher — too much work and too little time.

Jordan’s forte was syncopation; Taylor’s is publication.

Taylor’s leap into newspapering was expedited, he said, when a fire broke out at the nearby location of the Argus-Sun in December 2016.

The weekly maintains a circulation of about 1,000, Taylor

“When the fire happened we just started salvaging the

The Arkansas Publisher | 1st Quarter - 2018 | 15


equipment,” he said, and began work in the West Cedar location. The ArgusSun was previously published for 20 years by Katie Jaques. Taylor went from student to publisher in short order. A graduate of Marvell Academy, he played football there, as a lineman on teams of both 11 and eight men. He spent a year at Williams Baptist College in Walnut Ridge. He was looking for a summer job as a farmhand and thinking about enrolling at Arkansas State University when the opportunity to take over the local newspaper presented itself. “It sparked my interest, and I decided to buy it,” he said in a conversation at the newspaper office. “Under the agreement, Glenda and the others would stay, to make sure I had a capable staff while I continued to learn.” Glenda is Glenda Arnett, who started work at the Brinkley Argus in 1967 and, according to Taylor and other staff members, simply knows everything. He’s experienced “overwhelming support,” Taylor said. “The threat of the newspaper being gone … a lot of people didn’t want it to go away. It’s been nothing but support so far. If people just saw me as some jackass publishing a newspaper we’d lose support. But having a paper in Brinkley is a matter of pride.” The Herald doesn’t have an editorial page. “Not yet. I was adamant not to do it because no one needs a 19-year-old writing about city government.” His biggest challenge, Taylor said, is manpower. “We’re all jacks of all trades here. We have no devoted reporters or photographers.” He’d like to cover county government — the courthouse is in Clarendon — and other municipal governments, but that’s not possible yet. “Even though Monroe County is small we have diverse communities and population groups.” Taylor admits he lacks experience in journalism. Happily, “I haven’t done anything that’s had consequences, but I’d like to do things more professionally. I’m still very, very rough around the edges.” His goal for 2018, Taylor said, “is complete coverage of city government in Brinkley.” That’s the main mission of a small newspaper, “to get the news that other people can’t.” While Taylor’s experience in and learning of journalism is strictly on the job, he’s interested in politics, history and economics. He’s recently read Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense,” Paine’s argument for the American colonies’ independence from Great Britain. Next on his reading list is Thomas  Hobbes’ “Leviathan,” a 17th-century treatise of political philosophy. He’d like a degree, Taylor said. But does he see himself running The Herald in five years or 10 years? “I actually do,” he said. “There’s no reason not to.” Monroe County is one of the state’s smallest, with a population in 2015 of 7,542, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That’s down from the 2010 Census of 8,149.

(Top) Former Congressman Tommy Robinson lives in Brinkley, and dropped in for a visit with Hayden Taylor. (Middle) A bulletin board in the office of the Monroe County Herald had words of wisdom for every newspaper — proofread everything. (Bottom) Hayden Taylor and his mother, Beth, in the offices of the Monroe County Herald in Brinkley.

“There’s not a diversity of industry here,” Taylor said. “We’re in decline, but verging on steady, probably because of an aging population and not because people are leaving.” Young people can find a place in Monroe County, Taylor said. “I did.”

16 | 1st Quarter - 2018 | The Arkansas Publisher


ARFarmCredit.com

COMMITTED TO RURAL COMMUNITIES AND AGRICULTURE.

For more than one hundred years, we’ve lived and worked in the same communities as the men and women we serve. We’re the best source for statewide rural community and agriculture information.

AgHeritage Farm Credit Services Greg Cole • 501-210-4000

Farm Credit Midsouth

James McJunkins • 870-932-2288

Farm Credit of Western Arkansas Glen Manchester • 479-968-1434


The Arkansas

Publisher

Arkansas Press Association 411 South Victory Little Rock, AR 72201-2932

What’s “growing” on in Arkansas? Our team of experts can help you tell the story of our state’s #1 industry For photos of Arkansas farms, crops and agriculture events, visit www.flickr.com/arfarmbureau Public Relations Contacts: Steve Eddington 501-228-1383 steve.eddington@arfb.com Rob Anderson 501-228-1640 rob.anderson@arfb.com

®

w w w . a r f b . c o m

Profile for Arkansas Press Association

The Arkansas Publisher : First Quarter - 2018  

The only magazine dedicated to news of Arkansas' newspaper industry. This quarterly publication is a retrospective look at each season's maj...

The Arkansas Publisher : First Quarter - 2018  

The only magazine dedicated to news of Arkansas' newspaper industry. This quarterly publication is a retrospective look at each season's maj...