The following remarks were made by Record-Journal Publisher Eliot White at the Yankee Quill Awards ceremony and dinner (The Academy of New England Journalists) in Natick, Massachusetts, on October 10, 2013:
I am honored to have been selected as one of the five recipients for this year’s Yankee Quill Award. This is especially meaningful because of the stature of this organization and the qualifications of the other recipients. My congratulations go to them and their families.
When I was growing up, FOI (Freedom Of Information) was a household word. My parents, Carter and Barbara White, were very involved in fighting for open government for over 40 years. I was fortunate to have known and learned from some of the great open government legends in Connecticut and throughout New England including Ralph Eliot, Mitch Pearlman, Morgan McGinley, Bill Ketter and Morly Piper.
There are many dedicated professionals working in our industry. At the Record-Journal, I have worked with many talented people with a passion for our business. I am particularly fortunate to have had outstanding newspaper leaders and teammates in Dave Lucey and Tim Ryan and talented and dedicated journalists including Jim Smith and Ralph Tomaselli.
We all know how important our job is to publish the truth. During my 42 year newspaper career, there have been many changes, but none as dramatic as in the last 6 years. However, our fundamental job remains the same. At our news organizations in Meriden and Westerly, we try and create an environment for quality journalism by hiring good people and giving them the resources, training and support necessary to do their job. It is our job to keep our government’s business in the open with good laws and with strong investigative reporting. I believe that the public will continue to want quality local journalism for many years to come.
Operating a family newspaper business is very personal. I am fortunate for the legacy provided to me from previous generations and the support I have had from my wife, Sue, who is a terrific sounding board for fairness and the truth. I am also blessed to be working with my daughter, Liz, who is the fifth generation of leadership in our family business. She was unable to attend today because of the recent birth of the sixth generation.
Thank you for this award. I am honored and appreciate the recognition.
Editor’s note: This award was also won in past years by previous R-J publishers and/or editors: Carter H. White, 1990; Warren F. Gardner, 1992; James H. Smith, 2003.