Editor & Publisher

Linda S. Hicks

Co-publisher (1983 – 2012) with my husband and publisher (2013 – 2021), The Lone Grove Ledger, Lone Grove, Oklahoma Assistant (2022 to present), Marietta Monitor, Marietta, Oklahoma

First job in news:

It began on January 6, 1983, when my late husband, Gary K. Hicks, and I published the first edition of The Lone Grove Ledger.

What are some of the most important lessons you have learned while working in news?

Never be scared to report the truth, no matter how controversial/ uncomfortable it may be. Do not become best friends with city hall or any other public figures because one day, you could be faced with maintaining your integrity or sweeping the public’s right to know under the rug. Never make excuses or try to blame someone else for an error. Always be humble, apologetic, and don’t bury the correction where people are not likely to read or hear that someone in your news organization got it wrong. We are human, and there is not one business that hasn’t made a mistake. It just stands out more in the news. Become a fixture in the area in which you disseminate the news. If people know who you are, work with you on civic projects, etc., they come to trust you as the source of news and know they can turn to you to report a story fair and without bias, which should be every reporter’s standard. Don’t be a lazy reporter. Not everyone tells you the truth. Do your own research. Eventually, you’ll be able to recognize a smoking gun.

When you reflect on your career to date, what brings you the greatest sense of accomplishment?

Being able to come to the aid of the people in our area whose need was met by having their stories told to bring awareness to their situation, whether it be needing assistance for a lung or liver transplant, finding a missing child, or picking up trash in the park. It comes down to bringing the community together to get what matters done, no matter how large or small the challenge.

What are your predictions for where news publishing/news media is heading?

As older people die off, most news will have to go online or on social media because that is where the younger generation resides. If the internet ever goes down for any length of time, we will have to call Paul Revere to ride once again, bellowing out the critical news until someone figures out how to turn on the presses.

20 OVER 50





Editor and Publisher