Publishers Of Appalachian Weekly Look Back At 50 Years

WHITESBURG, Ky. (AP) - They've survived floods, death threats,
arson and theft. They've covered poverty, corruption and mining
Though Tom and Pat Gish didn't settle in eastern Kentucky to be
revolutionaries, a look back at their 50 years in newspaper
publishing shows that's exactly what they were in Appalachia.
The publishers of The Mountain Eagle, a weekly newspaper in
Whitesburg, plan to celebrate their 50th anniversary on January
First by focusing on what they always have -- publishing news.
After purchasing the paper, the couple insisted on covering
government meetings and focused on in-depth articles and editorials
about issues ranging from strip mining to police corruption.
Their small staff filed scores of stories that attracted
national attention to Appalachia, serving as an impetus for the
proclaimed War on Poverty and the 1977 Surface Mining and
Reclamation Act.
Despite nationally recognized coverage and regional impact, the
Gishes have chosen to keep the small weekly just as it is,
resisting notions of going daily or selling out of the family.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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