• Last modified 69 days ago (Feb. 7, 2024)



Newspaper award

To the editor:

Congratulations on winning the William Allen White award. You deserve it.

I began reading your newspaper because of your reporting on the illegal search and seizure of files and equipment at your office and your home by the Marion County authorities.

I have been impressed by your even-handed reporting on the facts of the case. Your professionalism and restraint in publishing only information that you could verify is to be admired and commended.

Despite the slander by others in the community and immense personal loss, you stayed true to the standards of the finest journalism and did the right thing.

I have enjoyed your reporting on the many wonderful events in your community, especially the local football team’s winning season, and the recent big snowstorm.

These stories of your community coming together to help and support each other are inspiring and heart-warming.

I know something of small towns. I grew up in perennial powerhouse Smith Center.

Quite a long time ago, I warmed the bench for Smith Center High School. I can assure you, we were no powerhouse, perennial or otherwise.

I do know that Marion County should appreciate what a blessing it is to have a good, well written newspaper in the community. Not all small towns have newspapers anymore, especially one so professional and polished.

Obviously, you stepped on some toes for reporting about some questionable behavior, but that is to be commended.

That is what freedom of the press is all about. Asking difficult questions, and holding public officials to account is what we should expect from newspapers. That is why we have freedom of the press.

I know the staff of the Marion County Record has suffered the slings and arrows of a small town. I can only hope that, even though truthful reporting can sometimes be uncomfortable for people, the benefits of a good, well-written chronicle of the community will be recognized as a treasure to be cherished.

Jerome Patzel
Portland, Oregon

Last modified Feb. 7, 2024