The owners of the Skiatook Journal have decided to close our office here in Skiatook. I’m going to miss it, but I’m not going anywhere.
And The Journal will continue to operate and provide readers with local news and information.
Nine years ago, I decided to leave my job(s) teaching college English and put all the knowledge I gained through a Master’s degree in creative writing and a decade of teaching to use. I accepted a job as the Web Content Editor with Community Publishers and began working at the Broken Arrow Ledger office. When I started, there were many community newspapers that I worked with: Skiatook Journal, Owasso Reporter, Sand Springs Leader, Broken Arrow Ledger, Coweta American, Wagoner Tribune, Collinsville News, Jenks Journal, Glenpool Post and Bixby Bulletin. I met a lot of amazing people from these communities and did my best to help the staffs of each paper with their websites and with technical support. As technology changed, I was there to train and guide. A lot has changed in the newspaper industry in the last nine years.
In fact, many of these small community newspapers no longer exist. The Coweta and Wagoner newspapers combined to become the Wagoner County American-Tribune, the Sand Springs Leader staff offices in downtown Tulsa at the Tulsa World, and now, the Skiatook Journal will join the Owasso Reporter staff at their offices in Owasso.
I moved to Skiatook five years ago and took over as managing editor of the Journal. I’m not a Skiatook native. I grew up in Tulsa and spent half of my adult life in the Oklahoma City area. I moved to Skiatook because I met a guy who became my husband. I’ve jokingly been told this is how Skiatook keeps increasing the population. And Skiatook is now my home. I love the people here. We have great teachers, first responders, and business owners. There is a spirit of community here that makes me proud to call it home.
Community journalism is my passion. It needs to exist. Citizens need to know what is going on in their town with city government, schools and sports. They need to be informed in a non-biased, factual way about local happenings and events. Community newspapers, like the Journal and others, support the community and the people that work for them are not part of the giant “news media.” We are the people you see at church, shopping at Walmart, and attending school sporting events.
Newspapers are an important part of our country’s system of checks and balances. BH Media Group is the owner of the Tulsa World and our weekly community newspapers. Our owner Warren Buffet has said, “If you want to know what’s going on in your town – whether the news is about the mayor or taxes or high school football – there is no substitute for a local newspaper. Wherever there is a pervasive sense of community, a paper that serves the special informational needs of that community will remain indispensable.”
The only way to keep community newspapers alive is to support those papers. Subscribe, pick up a copy at local businesses, promote your business or sale with an ad. I’ve been proud to serve as your local news editor and I love every minute of my job. I love telling stories and I love getting to meet new and interesting people and look forward to continuing to work with the great people of this town.
Follow me on Twitter @SkiatookJournal.
E-mail lindsey.chastain @skiatookjournal.com