In this week’s Licking News (which I finally got a subscription to!), a syndicated column entitled Remembering the country correspondents that tells about “country correspondents”:
My family, a longtime newspaper employee and her daughter were in the picture. The photo also captures a group of women who were our “country correspondents.” These women lived in rural areas outside Licking and wrote news about their neighbors. The weekly columns were usually named with something related to where they lived.
Each week the correspondents called around to friends and acquaintances to gather information. Then they’d hand-write it on cut sheets of unlined newsprint that was provided by the newspaper. These missives were then mailed or brought into the office to be typeset for the next week’s paper.
However, it also asserts:
The items produced by these country correspondents would never appear in a modern newspaper.
As a matter of fact, The Current Local and Douglas County Herald both still have country correspondents with columns of what their neighbors are doing (so-and-so is out of the hospital, so-and-so had bunco night, so-and-so went to Kansas City) and what’s going on at their churches.
Although perhaps one might not consider these to be modern newspapers in the Gannett sense. Which is why I subscribe to them.
If you’re keeping track at home, here are the papers I currently take:
- The Greene County Commonwealth/Republic Monitor
- Branson/Tri-Lakes News
- The Current Local
- Wright County Journal
- Douglas County Herald
- Marshfield Mail
- Stone County Republican / Crane Chronicle
- Houston Herald
- The Licking News
Although I might be being premature saying I take the Stone County Republican/Crane Chronicle as I just sent the check out today after picking up a copy from a news box on our recent jaunt to and from Berryville, Arkansas.
There was a time when I only took the Republic Monitor that I would sometimes get a little low on having newspaper around to feed the grill’s chimney starter, much less use it as weed block in my garden. A couple hundred dollars annually, and I no longer have to worry. I just have to keep up on my reading (speaking of which, my stack of Wall Street Journals, which I cancelled in December, is getting down to only a couple of inches tall).