LOW MOOR, Va. (VR) — The Alleghany Highlands School Board recognized two local media organizations on Monday, Sept. 12, 2022, for their role in promoting public education.
Representatives of the Alleghany Journal and The Recorder were presented with resolutions and certificates recognizing their inclusion on the Virginia School Board Association’s Media Honor Roll for 2022. The school board nominated the Alleghany Journal and The Recorder to be placed on the honor roll.
Each year, in the early fall, the VSBA Media Honor Roll recognizes media organizations and representatives for the important role they play in public education. Alleghany Highlands Public Schools division leaders rely on responsible and accurate reporting by the local media so the community receives timely information about division initiatives and programs.
The VSBA, in recognizing the importance of media coverage and the impact it can have on community attitudes and beliefs about public schools, created the Media Honor Roll. It recognizes the media for fair and balanced reporting about schools and public education in Virginia.
“Local news coverage is so important to help inform the citizens of what is happening locally in the Highlands,” said Jacob Wright, chair of the Alleghany Highlands Public Schools Board. “We certainly appreciate The Recorder and the Alleghany Journal for attending our meetings and offering their readers and viewers an accurate description of school board happenings, especially through this exciting transition.”
The Alleghany Highlands Public Schools Division was formed on July 1, 2022, when Alleghany County Public Schools and Covington City Public Schools merged.
The Recorder’s owner and publisher, Anne Adams, and Jerry Clark, editor of the Alleghany Journal, were on hand Monday, to receive the special recognition from the AHPS Board and the VSBA. Also present was Larry O’Rourke, a staff writer for The Recorder who reports on AHPS meetings each month, while also assisting the newspaper with sports coverage involving student athletes at Alleghany High School and Covington High School.
A weekly newspaper based in Monterey, The Recorder is Virginia’s oldest continuously published newspaper under the same name. The newspaper was founded in 1877 and until last year, it primarily focused its coverage on Highland and Bath counties. In the summer of 2021, The Recorder expanded its coverage area to include Alleghany County, Covington, Clifton Forge, and Iron Gate. It has a weekly mail circulation of approximately 4,500.
The Recorder’s staff in the Highlands includes sports editor Mark Pifer, photographer/staff writer Gavin Dressler, and staff writers Jerome Johnson, Jr., and David Crosier.
The Clifton Forge-based Alleghany Journal uses a webpage and Facebook to reach a wide audience of readers around the world. Alleghanyjournal.com was established by Clark and his wife, Judy, in 2006. The Clarks are longtime residents of the Highlands and they formerly owned The Daily Review, a print publication that was primarily dedicated to reporting on news events in the Clifton Forge area.
The Alleghany Journal expanded its reach in February 2010 by adding a Facebook page. The Facebook page now has more than 16,100 followers, and over a recent 28-day period, it reached more than 148,900 people. Alleghanyjournal.com garners approximately 6,000 visits per day, and an associated YouTube Channel’s subscription base currently exceeds 2,000. The Journal plans to expand into Bath County, Botetourt County, Rockbridge County and Greenbrier County, W.Va. It recently registered websites and Facebook pages for the Bath County Journal, the Botetourt County Journal, the Rockbridge County Journal, and the Greenbrier County Journal.
Tammy Lipscomb serves as the Alleghany Journal’s graphics designer, and she assists with photography at local news events.
“While we cannot recognize all our media partners each year, we are thankful to these and other media outlets for all they do to promote the accomplishments of students and teachers in particular. In this time of coming together in our community, we are especially thankful for the way media partners can help us to embrace our unique community spirit,” said Superintendent Kim Halterman and Assistant Superintendent Melinda Snead-Johnson in a joint statement.