New editor: 'It's all about our readers'
Let me introduce myself. I am Anita Fritz, the new editor of your beloved newspaper. I will transition into this position slowly throughout January, and plan to be working at full speed in February. The Athol Daily News will soon after become a morning paper.
By now, most of you have heard that the Daily News was purchased by Newspapers of New England, a family-owned company that publishes The Greenfield Recorder, Daily Hampshire Gazette, Valley Advocate and several other publications. Our intention is to make the Athol Daily News an even better newspaper, and I am here to help make that happen.
I’d first like to share a little about myself. I was born in Spokane, Wash., in 1958, and returned to my father’s hometown of Turners Falls when I was just 6 weeks old. I have lived in Franklin County ever since.
I began writing at a young age — shortly after reading the 1952 novel, “Charlotte’s Web,” by E.B. White. I graduated from Turners Falls High School in 1976 and Greenfield Community College in 1978. I got married and started raising a family shortly after college, and I have three wonderful children and four beautiful grandsons.
I returned to college in my 40s, when my children were in high school and college, and graduated from UMass Amherst with a degree in journalism. I started at The Recorder on Dec. 26, 2002 and have worked my way from night reporter to reporter of the newspaper’s lead town (Greenfield) to features editor. Nothing has made me happier – with the exception of my family — than being a journalist.
Today, more than ever, newspapers are key to our freedom and democracy. They are especially important at the local level, so that you know what is going on in your own backyard. The Athol Daily News will continue to provide you with the information you need to stay informed and up-to-date on what’s going on in local government, schools, and on your streets. The Quabbin Reservoir is my favorite place. Its beauty is beyond description. I lived in Orange for five years and loved everything about the North Quabbin Region — the people, the places — everything.
Beginning in February, we will be taking small steps toward making some changes that I believe you’ll be happy about. I will be working with Deb Porter and Jared Robinson, who will be covering your communities, and Adam Lewis, who will continue to cover sports. I plan to travel to each of the North Quabbin towns over the next month or so to meet you and your town leaders. I want your input. This is your newspaper, and once I’m settled in, I would also love to hear from you by phone, email or letter. My hope is that we learn from each other.
I am thrilled to accept this position and the challenges that come with it. You will, as you always have, continue to receive your news with the same enthusiasm, devotion and hard work the Athol Daily News staff has always given. Our goal is to provide you with compelling stories, intriguing photos and provocative opinion.
When the Daily News arrives each day, I’d like to know that you’re sitting down with it and your afternoon (and soon, morning) coffee, and that you think of it as more than just something to read, but as your connection to your community. Read it, discuss it, write us letters about what you like and don’t like.
This is a time of change, but also a time of coming together and giving you what everyone should expect from their local newspaper. I hope the work our dedicated staff produces will persuade you to continue to read and engage with the Athol Daily News.
Stay with us, expect the best from us, and we’ll do everything in our power to keep you in the know.