By John Ensslin, 2011-12 SPJ President | May 7th, 2012
I traveled 2,000 miles last weekend to spend a few hours in Silverton, Colorado. It was well worth the trip.
A breeze that blew across the old mining town carried four sounds: A dog barking. The spring runoff in the creek behind me. A distant train whistle. A brass band.
The music came from Silverton Brass Band, which was playing John Phillip Sousa’s Washington Post March. This seemed fitting since they were there to celebrate SPJ honoring The Silverton Standard & The Miner as one of our Historic Sites in Journalism.
Here’s a clip that sets the scene:
Next, here’s a video of Mark Esper, the paper’s editor and publisher, in Victorian period garb, who tells a bit of the paper’s history and why being added to the SPJ list was such an honor.
What happened to the paper in recent years is one of the great “feel good” stories about journalism in recent years. In this clip, Fritz Kinke, a printer and board member with the San Juan Historical Society, explains the Society’s decision to buy the paper and run it as a non-profit.
And finally, here’s is a clip of the Silverton Brass Band, playing their rendition of “Kansas City.”
What was really heart-warming about this story is that we were honoring not just a historic newspaper office but the unbreakable bond that has developed between that paper and the community it has served since 1875.