Last week was a time of lasts in my tenure with both papers: my last editorial, the last story edited, the last page edited and put to bed.
But I like to think back on the firsts.
At times like these, reminiscing comes easily, especially with the St. Clair Times. While the Daily Home, our daily newspaper, is more than 100 years old, the St. Clair Times is like a pre-teenager, a creation we brought into the world and nurtured along to its 10th birthday.
On April 4, the St. Clair Times will celebrate 10 years of covering St. Clair County from all corners, from every angle. And that was the genesis of it all: giving St. Clair County readers and advertisers a newspaper that knew the value of news and information that was important to them. It was a place to come for news from around your neighborhood, around your corner and around the world.
Local news has been its centerpiece, but we also gave readers some sense of the times and places outside St. Clair County with top news stories from the state, nation and world.
We took stands on the editorial page that weren’t always popular, but they served as a forum for discussion within communities, sometimes as a catalyst for positive change and oftentimes held public officials accountable for their actions or inaction.
That is exactly what a newspaper is supposed to do: ensure that the public gets every piece of information to which it is entitled.
We gave credit where it was due, offering countless editorials that offered a “Tip of the Hat” to good works found throughout St. Clair County. In “Of Special Note,” we pointed to more good works and outstanding events that were upcoming.
My philosophy has always been reader first, and reporters and editors will admit they’ve heard the mantra, “Find a way to say, ’yes’ ” many, many times.
That is the real story behind the birth of the St. Clair Times. It was our way of saying “yes” to our readers and advertisers.
Through the years, we have been through defeats and championships on the gridiron, on the courts and on the diamonds right along with St. Clair County teams. We have had a ringside seat at government meetings and in courtrooms, bringing our readers the news from those venues.
We have sat in theater audiences, classrooms and traveled the back roads and the main thoroughfares en route to bringing our readers news and features that meant something to them and their families and the communities they call home.
We have celebrated your births, your weddings, engagements and anniversaries with you, and we, too, have mourned the deaths.
The Times has been a public servant in many ways, making sure it was accountable to our readers. And its leadership looks forward to its next decade of service.
We found a way to say, “yes,” back on April 4, 2000 — we still do to this day and will continue to do so as the paper moves forward.
It is the foundation on which we built this hometown, community newspaper. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Carol Pappas is now the former publisher of the St. Clair Times.