2018-05-31 / Views

Awards are good; we’ll stick to our calling

“If you work for a newspaper, your blood absorbs the ink,

Your job becomes so consuming and it’s all that you can think.

I write this from experience for I’m a “Printer’s Devil.”

I inherited this malady from my dad, a long-time newspaper fella.”

So wrote Judy Egeler, who was speaking first-hand. Ms. Egeler, our poet laureate, is the wife of Cliff Egeler, who for many years could be found behind a Linotype or with a line gauge in hand. His work resulted in an updated array of lead type each week that served as a template for the printing process.

Cliff, once an Enterprise co-publisher, is gone now, but he represents an important link in Leelanau’s continuing newspapering legacy.

People were waiting at local stores for the Leelanau Enterprise when co-publishers Debra and Alan Campbell started delivering the product on Wednesday afternoons in 1997. They might have been a few minutes late — perhaps the news-gathering business went sideways or a mechanical problem arose — which brought consternation from loyal readers.

“Did you sleep in?” the Campbells might be asked.

After a long day the natural reaction would be to strike back. But readers were paying the Enterprise staff a compliment.

Residents relied on their paper. The Campbells managed a smile and moved to the next store.

After browsing through most of the 7,000 editions produced since Volume 1, No. 1 on Nov. 15, 1877, it’s become obvious that no publisher stands alone. Strong staffs always have been the backbone of the Enterprise, a legacy that continues. Editors, writers, graphic artists, sales people, “stuffers,” office workers and yes, printers devils, have kept the Enterprise prevalent and respected.

Why the history lesson?

The Leelanau Enterprise was named the Michigan Newspaper of the Year for the third time in eight years.

We’ve been told that newspapers are outdated, things of the past. Yet we have not seen a media model to replace them.

Awards are nice. We all appreciate recognition.

But community newspapers are based on a higher calling, one that we aspire to continue.

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