Sometimes big news happens in small towns - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Sometimes big news happens in small towns

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October 12, 2006

Pelham -- Even if your news gains national attention, often the most meaningful news coverage comes from the hometown news source.   That certainly was the case nearly seven years ago in Mitchell County.  

On Valentine's Day 2000, 19 people were killed when a tornado blew through Camilla. The story made national news on television, but there's something special about seeing an important story in print.

"I know the importance of community newspapers," said newspaper Publisher and Editor John Jimenez.

There's something special about a local newspaper's coverage of an historic local event. "It was great coverage by the paper."

The first edition of the Camilla Enterprise after the storm included an astounding 44 stories about the tornado, many of them personal accounts about people who lived and people who died. "They got a little bit more personal into it, the lives that were changed forever, and there were many lives that were changed forever," said Jimenez.

But the Enterprise isn't Mitchell County's only newspaper. The same team puts out the Pelham Journal, sister papers with the same goal. "Be local, local, and local."

Production manager Rodney Doss has been putting out both papers for more than 40-years. His first day was historic. They used a brand new offset printing press for the first time. "We were the first weekly offset press in Georgia," said Doss.

At one time they printed more than 30 local newspapers here. Now, it's just a few. One the old fashioned way, using this big 1937 camera before printing. "We still use it. We have one paper that we still photograph instead of run on computer," said Doss.

Whatever the method the Enterprise and Journal will continue to provide Mitchell Countians with the local news coverage they've come to expect in good times and in bad.

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