The newspaper industry is a business of storytelling.

I have known that since my freshman year of high school, when I saw my byline for the first time in my high school newspaper. I was hooked and have been devoted to pursuing a career in newspapers ever since.

But while I realize that my name or the name of sports editor Nick Vandeloecht might be the most visible in the Powhatan Today, it would be incorrect to say we are solely responsible for producing this paper.

Oct. 6 to 12 marks the 79th annual National Newspaper Week, a recognition of the service of newspapers and their employees across North America that is sponsored by Newspaper Association Managers.

As I thought about how to recognize National Newspaper Week, it seemed fitting that I also would be attending a ceremony to honor milestone years of service in my company. The celebration recognized 65 employees with years of service ranging from five to 45 years.

I fell at the low end of the scale, happy to celebrate my five-year anniversary in May. But as I listened to the accomplishments of the men and women in the advertising, circulation, news, production/facilities, marketing, and corporate departments, it was a wonderful reminder of how many people work so hard to create the ultimate product that is the Powhatan Today and other newspapers in our group. As was pointed out during the ceremony, years of service do matter and all of these people are the bedrock of who we are as an institution.

In the past when I wrote about the importance of newspapers, it was always from the perspective of the news side. I touched on how our readers can come to our newspaper for everything from county government and schools coverage to crime, courts, sports (excellent job by Nick), festivals, features, and more.

But the paper also is the ads of our local businesses, events, political candidates, real estate, and more. It is the classifieds selling everything from tractors and cars to yard sales and rooms to rent, as well as people seeking something to put out their pleas. It’s also the legal ads, including the mandatory advertising of local board and commission matters, which I hope people are paying attention to, because they announce some important potential changes in Powhatan. I have only high praise for the sales and design staffs that make the newspaper possible as well.

In the end, all of those parts combine to create a finished product that is designed to inform our readers of what is going on in Powhatan County. From all of them to all of you, thank you for letting us continue to bring you your weekly hometown newspaper.

Laura McFarland may be reached at

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