They say you can’t come home again, but I hope that’s not true. Because pulling back into the parking lot at the Davis Clipper this week as I returned as Managing Editor has certainly felt like coming home. Coming back to a newspaper I loved and served for so many years. Returning to a community where I felt warmly embraced and where the work we did seemed appreciated. Running into old friends at last weekend’s Davis County Fair at the Clipper booth. Catching up with long-time Clipper readers while my wife and I walked through the booths and halls of displays, reintroducing myself as part of the Clipper team. My house may be in Salt Lake City now, but Davis County feels like home.
I grew up in California, in a community near San Francisco where my hometown newspaper meant everything to all of us who lived in Redwood City. The Tribune was published six days a week (it took Sunday off), and every issue was filled with the news we wanted, and needed, to read. Local government actions, stories about schools and students, library events, business features, and all of the high school sports covered with stories, stats and photos. To see your name in the Tribune, or read about your school or club or church group or community service project made you feel wonderful, and grateful for the hometown you lived in. I have never forgotten that feeling, even a few decades later.
When I was a young man, there was no Internet, no 24-hour news cycle, no cable service offering 300+ channels. We got some of our news from local TV and radio, but mainly from our hometown newspaper. It was within those pages that the heart and soul of the stories lived, as it does today. Our iPhones and computers can certainly give us the headlines, the fast updates, and there’s no denying the value of that. But it is within the pages of a newspaper, a hometown newspaper, where those headlines and flashpoints gain substance and significance.
As sports editor in my previous Clipper years, I took pride in how we covered ALL sports, both boys’ and girls’ sports. And even after more than 25 years from the time we started doing that, I still run into some of those athletes, now many adults with children of their own who are high school athletes, who tell me, “I still have those stories you wrote about me in the Clipper.” Those printed memories endure in scrapbooks and in some cases as framed remembrances of the past. I intend for the Clipper to continue telling those kinds of stories.
The importance of hometown newspapers has never been greater. We take that responsibility seriously at the Clipper. We always have and we always will.
It’s good to be home.