This week marks the 79th annual National Newspaper Week. Sponsored by the Newspaper Association Managers, it’s set aside each year as a time to recognize the service of newspapers and their employees across North America.

Since 1894 this newspaper has been serving the people of Blount County. And while the cast of characters has changed over the years, the mission remains the same — to serve Blount County, to bring you the news (the good and the bad), and to highlight the remarkable people, places, things, businesses, and organizations that make Blount County such a special place to live.

Small, community newspapers have the unique opportunity to take you inside the heart and soul of the communities they serve. Newspapers across the country continue to be the leading source of information in all the communities they serve.

That’s what we continually strive to do here at The Blount Countian. We are the eyes, ears, and voice of the people. And it’s a huge responsibility and one that we take seriously. We are committed to the neighborhoods, cities and towns, and the people that we serve.

Each person here at The Blount Countian shares this same commitment, vision, and passion. I am proud to work alongside each of them. Jenna, Melanie, Cheryl, Roger, Ron, April, Wayne, Diane, Zeke, and Rickey are the absolute best! Just like you, they call Blount County home. It’s where their roots are and where their hearts are. They work countless hours to serve the people they call friends and neighbors.

These are the people who make The Blount Countian what it is and I not only celebrate them this week, but every single day. What an honor it is to work with them and what an honor it is to serve you. -aw