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PERRY: JG-TC's mission is to connect the dots, tell the stories about our community

PERRY: JG-TC's mission is to connect the dots, tell the stories about our community


Scott Perry, local news editor for the Herald & Review, talks about the importance of local journalism. Digital subscriptions start at $5 for 20 weeks. Learn more at

I have held many titles during my professional journalism career, which began as the Mattoon bureau chief for the Herald & Review.

One of them was that of business editor.

I sought the position for one reason — the opportunity to play a bigger role in the lives of my children.

For the previous five years I had served as night editor at the Herald & Review. In my case, that meant working from 2 p.m. to about 1 a.m. putting out the day’s paper. Not favorable hours when your kids, among other things, are active and the nearest in-conference school for athletics is an hour away.

I came to the new position laying no claim to an extreme knowledge of “business.” If people were looking to me to provide insight into the stock market, they were badly mistaken. They would have just as much luck playing the lottery. If I was a stock market whiz, do you think I’d still be driving around in a 2002 Grand Caravan? OK, probably so, but that isn’t the point.

My job, the way I see it, is that of connecting dots. And when it came to covering local business, that meant taking the state, national and international news headlines and connecting them to the local economy.

The part I enjoyed most — and still do — was getting to know the local business owners and learning what makes them tick. There are a lot of great people out there with a lot of great stories, many that are still needing to be told.

My title has changed a few times since then — I’m the local news editor for both the JG-TC and the Herald & Review — but the job for me and my team of reporters and photographers remains the same. Our mission at the JG-TC is, and always will be, to connect the dots and tell the stories of our people and our communities.

It’s a service that is unique to local media outlets like us.

We are in the best position to provide this service because we live in the community, we have families that live in the community, we eat local, we buy local and we play local. We have a vested interest in the future of our community and an obligation to hold those who are leading it accountable.

We attend meetings, we take legal action to obtain documents, we seek to ask the hard questions you would ask if you were given the access and opportunity.

We are not the mainstream media with agendas, who only swoop into town when things are bad. We are your Main Street media and we are here all the time.

And we are much more than printed pages that are delivered to your home. We are a 24-hour news source, providing detailed coverage of the events that are important to you through words, pictures, video and more delivered to your phone, computer and tablet.

And, if you look a little closer, you will see that we are among the primary sources of the local news you are reading on Facebook. That news was made possible by a dedicated team of paid professionals who are held to a higher standard.

As I said earlier, I can’t pad your wallet with extra cash made from a killing on Wall Street.

But I can help improve your wealth of knowledge about the community and help you save a little cash in the process. Go to for a Digital Plus subscription. For just $29.99 for the first year you will have access to all that the JG-TC has to offer. Give us a try.

Thank you for your support of the JG-TC and making us a part of your daily lives today and for many years to come.

Scott Perry is the local news editor for the JG-TC.


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