OAKLAND, Ill. (WCIA) — One woman is making sure the job of community journalism gets taken care of in Our Town. Janice Hunt is the face behind the Oakland Independent.
When we say she does it all, we mean it. You could say Hunt knows a thing or two about the town.
“It’s a weekly newspaper. We mainly focus on Oakland and Hindsboro.”
She took over the paper five years ago. It’s filled with all the latest happenings in the community.
“I cover school board, city council and anything that happens to come up during the week, so there is always something going on.”
Hunt writes the stories, designs the paper, sells the ads and gets it to the printers every week.
“I kind of switch back-and-forth, changing hats throughout the week.”
A few must-read headlines include a section where residents tell about their travels, a collage of pictures from local events and the Don Douglas column.
“A lot of times, I’ll put two emails together because he wrote them kind of short.”
A section of the paper is dedicated to hundreds of emails he wrote before he died. Hunt says, it’s stories like these which keep people reading each week.
“It’s a way to give back, ’cause I love this community and there is a lot here and the people deserve to have a paper here and I am grateful to be the person that gives that to them.”
Over the years, she’s taken home several first place trophies for her work. Hunt says the paper isn’t about her. It’s for the town she loves and gets to call home.
“People in town, they eat it up. They love it. They are proud of it and I am proud to be doing it.”