It’s a big week for The Mail Newspapers as the publication celebrates its first full year of covering current events in Central Illinois. The Mail broadly consists of 10 newspapers and publishes relevant news for the 12,337 residents that live within its purview. The mission of The Mail is “to chronicle the milestones of our community and neighbors, celebrate common values, support our home teams, and promote civic engagement and local business.” In celebration of 52 editions published, I spoke with publisher Robert Fang and contributors Chris Jones and Chloe Scroggins to get their views after a year in business.
Chloe Scroggins is our Agriculture Columnist and was hired while still in high school, along with our Sports Columnist Hayden Stork. She is currently attending Southern Illinois University and, looking further down the road, she wants to end up in the agriculture field after graduation, and says that the skills she’s been able to hone working for The Mail has helped guide her to other opportunities. Chloe also points out that her position has allowed her to make various connections in our local communities and is thankful that she took the opportunity when it was offered.
Chris Jones is our Entertainment Columnist and had previously worked with Robert Fang. He’s been writing movie reviews for years, mainly on social media, and jumped at the offer to join The Mail team. Through his position he has had the opportunity to attend two virtual film festivals and says that his favorite part of contributing to The Mail is seeing his words in the print editions that he receives. Chris also put out a bit of a teaser, promising “big plans for next year”.
Our Publisher, Robert Fang, had this to say about his first full year behind The Mail, “Newspapers are more than ink and paper . They contain more than words and pictures. They are cornerstones of communities. They draw us together and make us all part of the same common history. It is our distinct honor to be the recorders of that history.” He then goes on to explain that he does not feel that The Mail is HIS newspaper when he says “While I purchase the paper and ink, I hope our readers come to view the Mail as I do, as THEIR newspaper, a community resource - not just a business.”
Robert accurately describes the common theme among the contributors I’ve spoken with and includes my feelings as well. At the end of the day, this is an important job that also allows us to feel a bit closer with our communities. We all hope that you have as much fun reading The Mail Newspapers as we do putting it together.