“College and High School Journalism Today” was the topic of the annual celebration of local journalism held Thursday, Sept. 8 at the program at Main Street Free Press Museum in Fredericktown, Ohio. The Central Ohio Society of Professional Journalists sponsors the late-summer event each year, which is held during Fredericktown’s Tomato Festival. It celebrates the Main Street Free Press Museum in Fredericktown, which is directed by chapter member John C. Long, journalism professor at St. John’s and Hofstra universities in New York.
Panelists at the 2016 event included Central Ohio SPJ Board of Directors member Spencer Hunt, director of student media for The Lantern at Ohio State University’s School of Communications, and Paul Kostyu, chairman of the Department of Journalism at Ohio Wesleyan University, and past president of the Central Ohio SPJ.
The free discussion about the state of college journalism today, including challenges and opportunities in the wake of a changing profession, was held at the First Baptist Church in Fredericktown, 22 E. Sandusky St., adjacent to the museum located at Second and Main streets in Fredericktown, 42 N. Main St.
Long moderated the event.
The museum was founded in 2000 by Rarick W. Long, who was a member of the Central Ohio SPJ chapter for 48 years, until his death in 2001, and by his sons and daughter, John Long, Rebecca Long Leakey of Pittsburgh and Harlan B. Long of Indianapolis.
The museum structure, the Lyman Wright Building, dates to 1836 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The building formerly housed the Knox County Citizen, Fredericktown’s weekly newspaper, which Rarick Long published for 35 years, and Rarick Long’s letterpress print shop.
The museum’s objectives, which have been endorsed by both the Central Ohio and New York City SPJ chapters, are fourfold:
- To foster freedom of the press under the First Amendment at the grass-roots level.
- To celebrate the institution of the small-town newspaper.
- To demonstrate the craft of letterpress printing.
- To restore and preserve the museum’s historic building and antique letterpress equipment.