Vail Daily column: Be like Marilla
Marilla McCain was untiringly dedicated to the interests of the people of Eagle County, with an admirable work ethic and a spunky, tell-it-like-it-is writing style that made people sit up and listen.
“A woman of firm opinion, she never feared to state and uphold a principle or cause that she believed to be the right one, even when compromise would have been the easier, perhaps more profitable, course,” reads a line in her obituary, published on April 27, 1972, in the Eagle Valley Enterprise, the paper to which she devoted her career.
Marilla was the first female newspaper editor in Eagle County. I want to be like Marilla.
This week, I begin my tenure as the editor of the Vail Daily, a newspaper that I love just as fiercely as so many others in our community. It was here that I began my journalism career nearly nine years ago — working late nights on the copy desk, ensuring each comma and apostrophe was in the correct place. It was here that I honed my writing skills and experienced the thrill of seeing my byline in print for the first time in a “real” newspaper, rather than a collegiate publication.
And it was here that I discovered just how incredible a community newspaper could be. From the staff to the individual readers who, once they discover that I work here, can’t wait to tell me what their favorite bits of newsprint were that day, we have a connection to this publication, this sheaf of papers. It tells your stories, and now, it’s telling mine.
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It’s with great pride but also with a great sense of responsibility that I take on this new role. In a recent keynote speech to the Colorado Press Association, Gov. John Hickenlooper stated that there’s no such thing as staying in the same place: You’re either moving forward or you’re moving backward — and we intend to keep moving forward.
People are consuming news in a myriad of ways, from 140-character news blasts to 360-degree videos, and it’s imperative that we continue to recognize that and keep striving to tell stories across multiple platforms. In the coming months, we aim to make great strides with digital storytelling, establish a strong editorial voice and create more opportunities for interaction with you, our readers.
I have this picture hanging in my office now, a gift from the Eagle County Historical Society and a reminder to be passionate in pursuit of everything journalism stands for — integrity, impartiality, accountability — but also to continue to love this community and this post as unconditionally as Marilla did.
Krista Driscoll is the editor of the Vail Daily. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.