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Whitlock joins The News-Herald

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By John Whitlock

With county officials facing indictment and a major election just around the corner, it looks like I picked a good time to jump on board at The News-Herald.

My name is John Whitlock and I’ve assumed the role as news editor here at the paper.

First a little bit about my history.

I was born in Cynthiana in 1965. Although I am a child of the 1960s, no one would accuse me of being a hippie. My father worked for the Harrison County Rural Electric Association. My mother was a nurse at Harrison Memorial Hospital for many years before retiring.

I graduated from Harrison County High School and Eastern Kentucky University.

When I was a kid, I embraced the old cliché of a newspaperman. I saw myself with my feet propped up on my desk, my fedora carrying my PRESS badge in the band pushed back on my head after banging out stories of public corruption on an old manual typewriter.

It didn’t take many dry civic meetings to bust the romantic balloon.

I started working at the old Georgetown Graphic as a freelancer – covering planning and zoning meetings and college volleyball games.

After a year or so, I moved across the street to the Georgetown News and Times. I felt like I had made it to the big time – moving to the more established paper of record.

But I soon moved to the Times-Tribune in Corbin. I thought surely at a daily paper my dreams of busting crooked officials and blowing the lid off public corruption would come true.

I started off as a reporter but soon moved up to city editor and eventually managing editor.

There were a few nibbles of public corruption but the big story and inevitable Pulitzer Prize that would accompany it never materialized.

Three years ago, I left Corbin to become the news bureau director for the Kentucky Press Association. I covered the General Assembly and state government for smaller papers across the commonwealth. It was a wonderful experience and I got to know a lot of people inside the journalism community and in state government.

In my spare time, I like palling around with my wife, Kellee, and our dogs, Cupcake and Otto. For the record, Cupcake is the mean one.

Now, as I am getting a bit older and keep finding these strange strands of gray hair starting to pop out of my skull, I am settling in with my new role at The News-Herald. It’s always difficult to walk into a new situation – especially when this paper has been run so efficiently by a very talented and dedicated staff. I can only hope that I add to the good work that’s been going on here at the paper.

The News-Herald will continue to be a strong reflection of the community.

I’m looking forward to getting my feet wet with this issue.

In the coming days and weeks, I will be coming around to call on many of you. I want to know what is important to you and the issues you want to see covered in these pages and any problems you may have experienced. When we talk, please be open and honest. This newspaper is here to serve you – our community.

Please feel free to contact me here at the News-Herald office at 484-3431 or by email at jwhitlock@owentonnewsherald.com. I look forward to hearing from you.