By Ashley Rader
Elizabethton resident Lynn Richardson says her position as the new president of the Tennessee Press Association gives her the chance to continue the group’s key work while putting a renewed focus on literacy.
Richardson, publisher of the Herald & Tribune in Jonesborough, took the TPA’s reins at the organization’s summer convention last week.
“It’s an honor,” Richardson said. “It’s an opportunity to work with some wonderful journalists and news professionals across the state.”
Richardson said being president would give her the opportunity to continue work the TPA had started in the areas of open government and keeping public notices in local newspapers.
“That work is important and needs to continue,” she said.
Richardson also said as president she would like to focus on improving literacy and education across the state. She said she was working to build a committee that would include newspaper leaders, literary program officials and adult education employees to provide a renewed focus on literacy for Tennesseans.
“With my background with Newspapers in Education and with my start as an educator, this is near and dear to my heart,” Richardson said. “When we see so many in Tennessee who don’t read well or who don’t read at all, or who don’t have their high school diploma or GED, it should be a concern.”
Richardson believes community newspapers have a bright future despite reports that newspapers are a dying format.
“No one else does what we do,” she said. “You won’t see an Associated Press reporter at a city council meeting or a band concert. You won’t see a major network covering local football or Little League. If we remember who we are and why we are here, we will be fine. They say newspapers are dead but I see no evidence of that across the state of Tennessee.”
She has a bachelor of science degree in elementary education with a specialization in music from Concord College in Athens, W.Va., and a certification in journalism from East Tennessee State University in Johnson City.
Richardson has been publisher of the Herald & Tribune since 2004 and had worked as general manager since 1999.