Editor and Publisher
2022 E&P EDITORS EXTRAORDINAIRE
Editor, Crossville Chronicle Education: Tennessee Technological University, bachelor of science, English-journalism Heather Mullinix was nominated by her publisher, who wrote, “Readers/ community first is always top of mind with Heather. She is respected by all top government officials (city council, county commission, school board) and is known to be fair and honest. … This editor ensures that we, as a newspaper, will be 80% to 90% locally produced content with any given publication. She’s the editor who first tries to find a way to get something in publication, or do something meaningful, rather than look for a reason to do nothing at all.” What advice do you have for other young professionals who aspire to become an editor extraordinaire? I am only as good as the staff that supports me. I set high expectations, and we have a culture of mutual respect in our newsroom. We collaborate to find solutions to issues or problems in our processes, and when things get a little crazy, we all pitch in to get the job done. It’s also important to remember the community you serve. One of the best aspects of working in a small community is the accountability our readers provide. I not only field calls and concerns from my office but when I’m out in the community, shopping, having dinner or enjoying a local event. That accountability reminds me of those I serve — the people who live, work and play in my community. That’s why we focus on local news coverage. As a twice-weekly paper, we offer national news on our website. Still, our paper is consistently 80% local content, with everything from the most recent trial or the school board meeting to little league baseball and the 4-H public speaking winner. What is the most important lesson you’ve learned about covering government officials? Be fair, be honest and be transparent. Treat everyone with respect while continuing to uphold journalistic principles and editorial policies.