Those funny S’s we’re all familiar with in the “Mississippi” logo? They come with a helping of crow.
For Barbara Gauntt, a news editor at The Clarion-Ledger, the crooked letters were eye catchers on a license plate in a parking lot while in college in Ohio. And she thought they were “cool,” but Mississippi, she declared, would never be home.
Thirty years later, Gauntt is at the helm of The Upside, a new “all good news” Wednesday section in the state’s largest newspaper. She’s been here since 1986, her first job out of school.
The Middlesex, New Jersey native shot photos for the Clarion-Ledger for 27 years but left for a while. When she returned just a year or so later, her medium changed – from camera to keyboard.
As The Upside editor, Gauntt pitches ideas, assigns reporters and photographers and edits copy. She sometimes still shoots assignments herself, though The Upside — and the Madison County Herald — keep most of her focus.
The Upside is about people doing good, “people going above and beyond, donating their time, energy and resources for the community,” Gauntt says. “I hope it helps [uncover] resources — to see a program we are highlighting, and find an email, phone number or something — so that [readers] can be more a part of their community.”
When The Upside first published in late September, a call for contributors went out. Find It In Fondren, telling Fondren’s good news since 2010, responded to become a featured contributor on the first Wednesday of each month.
“You all know your community best,” Gauntt says. “Find It In Fondren is an incredible resource to let people know what’s happening in this incredibly vibrant place. So tell us about Fondren and The Upside is happy to share it.”
Publisher’s note: “We are thrilled for the opportunity, not only for our brand but for Fondren. Our neighborhood is grateful to have a consistent, positive presence in the Clarion-Ledger.”