New beginnings inspire re-evaluation


I love the holiday season. For me, it’s a time of tradition, family fun, good food and next year lying before us — bright, shiny and new. It can also be a time of finalizing budgets and setting goals. But looking forward to 2022 should inspire us to look back at 2021 — what worked, what didn’t work and what didn’t happen at all.

The last two years have been difficult and maybe a time we’d rather not review. However, I believe that the last two years taught most of us who we are at our very core. We either showed up, or we didn’t. We either made lemonade, or we sucked lemons. We “dug down deep,” or we crawled deep under the covers. Who you are when “the going gets tough” says a lot about who you will be when “happy days are here again.” Will you view a challenge as an opportunity? Will you make the most of what you have? Will you stand up for what you believe to be right?

Many of our key stories this month answer those questions. In “This is one Echo that won’t fade,” you’ll read about Dink NeSmith, Andy Johnston and the student journalists at The Oglethorpe Echo who are making lemonade. Our revenue feature, “Newspapers have unique advantages to attract more political ad dollars,” will show you a great opportunity if you'll step up to the challenge. And, for our feature, “News in the Metaverse,” we talked to many of you who found a way to make the best of the hand you were dealt the past couple of years.

In our quest to stand up for what is right, our cover story, “Impeding the free press for Native Americans,” tells you about too many of our fellow Americans whose right to a free, fair and unfettered press doesn't exist. The individuals and groups who have taken up this fight are making strides, but as you’ll see, there’s much more to be done.

Finally, this month’s edition is our EPPY feature edition. We had over 400 entries in more than 40 categories viewed by 43 fantastic judges. The winners demonstrate what is great about this industry — ingenuity, integrity and perseverance in pursuing excellence. The EPPY winners showed up, stepped up to the challenge and gave us their best. We’re in awe of each of you.

This month you'll also see that we’re continuing to feature new voices and diverse viewpoints with another Diversity Spotlight, a new voice in Ad Sales Life and a new study and perspective in our Shoptalk. We want to hear from you, our readers, about what you want us to cover. E&P is here for you, and we can only get better with your feedback.

During this hurried holiday season, take a moment to answer the essential questions about who you will be and how you will show up in 2022. Our team at E&P wishes you joy, peace and wonderful new beginnings in 2022.


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