As we wrap up remaining business and prepare for Christmas and the new year, I've been given what may sound like a monumental task.
I have been put in charge of compiling the biggest stories that the Banner Graphic reported on in the past year. That means I am going through our archives day by day and determining what I think got everyone's attention or had an impact.
Certain events stand out. Up until this point, Greencastle track star Emma Wilson has kept coming up with her accomplishments. There were also important personnel changes that affected some, such as having a new superintendent make strides at North Putnam, or a newcomer taking up the Putnam County Public Library's visible directorship. We also celebrated community leaders as Difference Makers who had made a contribution without expecting to be rewarded.
There are also those events which caused ripples in our community.
Front and center of these are perhaps the student protest of Jenna Fischer's Ubben Lecture at DePauw in April, which were in reaction to racist and hateful vandalism on campus. Then there is a Greencastle High School graduate whose drug peddling led a fraternity at IU to be shut down. The concerns surrounding the alcohol and drug treatment center near Tzouanakis inspired some discussion too, and so did the mold.
We're still chasing these stories to a degree. It never ends, and that's because history is made every day. Anything can happen.
These are just a few of the stories that will make it into our end-of-the-year recap. As such, why am I bringing them up here?
Well, that's just the point. Those are only the few that will be glanced at. They do not represent all of the unique events that may not be largely visible.
As I read through the headlines, I can't help but notice that people's loved ones have died. This sports team or that organization had their success stories, or maybe it's that they had that one upset that led them to refocus their paradigm. I see that there were moments of joy and sadness, happiness and frustration.
The overarching theme is that they were stories about you. I'm not being sappy; it's just the truth that I think guides what we do here at the Banner Graphic as a small town paper serving Putnam County.
I came to the newspaper in the middle of this year not really knowing how my own hometown carried on and what lies beneath it. But, as I have said before, this job has given me insight into what is important to different people.
It's us being there to see it that matters. #Smalltownpr is not just my attempt to be hip. I've tried to make it my mentality as a reporter struggling to get that good picture or write down that memorable quote.
Looking back affirms how essential we are, and what it means for you to trust us to tell your stories.