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Home » Remembering Mike Pride, who worked to make local news better

Remembering Mike Pride, who worked to make local news better

Every now and then in my freelance role as an obit writer for the Tampa Bay Times, I write about the lives of journalists. There was the features reporter who became an artist and community activist; the sports reporter who became a teacher and wrote his own obituary; and the political reporter who was the first woman to lead the statehouse bureau.

These stories are never really about journalism, much less local journalism.

Until last week.

If you’ve paid attention to the Pulitzer Prizes at any point in the last decade, you might know the name Mike Pride. Pride was a Pulitzer administrator, but before that, he was a local journalist. His biggest impact was at the Concord (New Hampshire) Monitor. He got his start in Tampa Bay, where, as news editor of The Clearwater Sun, Pride guided coverage of a new group to town — the Scientologists.

I try, whenever writing about a writer, to use their own words in their obituaries. Pride’s, from his introduction column to Monitor readers in 1978, embodies what makes local journalism so valuable, even now.

Maybe particularly now.

Here’s what he wrote, via (with the full text under the photo):

From the Concord (New Hampshire) Monitor, Feb. 9, 1978, via

My purpose is to make the Monitor reflect Concord and to see that you have the information necessary to participate in our future together.

As a capital newspaper, we also bear the responsibility of comprehensive and insightful state coverage. And we’ll devote what resources we can to keeping you informed of international and national issues, always looking for opportunities to make such stories relate directly to Concord and you.

I think the Monitor should be a paper to which all views have access. What you think of an issue is news. You are the community, and you ought to be in the newspaper today, tomorrow or next week, not just when you have a child, marry or die.

And your kid’s picture ought to be in the paper too — not because he scored the winning goal or made Eagle Scout, although that will get him in the paper too, but because a Monitor photographer snapped a picture of him being himself — eating ice cream, skating, climbing the monkey bars, listening to a storytelling at the Concord library.

All of that is part of life in Concord, and covering life in Concord is our job.

You can read Pride’s remembrance here.

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