How is the newspaper coming along? Now that you've been at it for a couple of years, have you seen a change in the attitude of your community?
We've been at it for two years now; this week is our second anniversary. The paper's been doing fairly well … for a small weekly newspaper in one of the poorest counties in the United States... I'd say it's still breaking even, that's about the best we can do right now.
What are your future plans for the newspaper?
Actually, I've been thinking about trying to start some other publications, sort of companions. I'm in the very early stages of that. But I'm not really looking at the Web, because I just don't know much about it.
What have been some of the big stories in Perry County lately?
One of the incidents considered the catalyst for the Selma-Montgomery March [of 1965] was the shooting of Jimmie Lee Jackson, who was from Marion, and an African-American. And there was a state trooper named James Bonard Fowler who shot him, so for the past 40 years, Fowler had been living in relative anonymity in Alabama. It went to a grand jury right after it happened, it was an all-white grand jury, and they found no reason to prosecute.
About two, three months ago, a new [district attorney] brought the case back up and a grand jury indicted him. So that's put the spotlight on us.
Also, our local high school won their ninth state basketball championship in a row, so we've been covering that.
Will the Perry County Herald endorse anyone for president?
We probably won't endorse anyone, although I am personally supporting [Illinois Democratic Sen.] Barack Obama. And I'm probably going to run as a delegate for him in Alabama. I like the same thing about him that everyone likes about him. He's just got a great style, brings a kind of freshness to politics that we didn't have. And I think he's unabashedly liberal, which for a lot of politicians is a bad word.
What do you enjoy the most out of editing and operating a weekly paper?
Every Thursday, when we finally get the paper out, I can relax for a few minutes. It's what keeps you going. Also, we have a lot of readers who would get very upset if they didn't get their paper. And if for some reason their paper doesn't show up, they let me know about it.
What do you think the Herald reflects about Generation Next's views on society?
I think its kind of a throwback. A weekly newspaper is a very old-fashioned medium, but the idea of starting your own weekly newspaper to affect change in your local community is something that would be more typical of somebody from our generation.
What advice would he have for other GenNexters who want to make a difference in their communities in different way such as you have?
Well, if you really want to make a difference in the community, to have your voice heard, it's hard to do. But, when people find out that you're serious, they'll take you seriously.