Balcom bids farewell to North Iowa Times, while new editor takes the reins
By Trudy Balcom and Audrey Posten
When Trudy Balcom first took over as editor of the North Iowa Times in 2006, she did not really know what writing and reporting for a small community would be like; most of her writing experience was with magazines and freelance work.
“But I did know that you can find interesting people and challenges everywhere,” Balcom said, “and I found both in McGregor and Marquette.”
Since then, Balcom has witnessed both the ups and downs of the Marquette and McGregor communities—everything from flooding, fires and accidents to new business openings and the awarding of major grants.
As her time at the North Iowa Times drew to a close last week, Balcom reflected on the last seven years, citing the re-establishment of the paper as a trusted source of community information as one of her biggest accomplishments.
That trust is a two-way street. “I’m also proud of the trust people have placed in me,” she said. “I take that very seriously.”
Balcom said she hopes the community understands just how important it is to the success of the North Iowa Times.
“We need people to come up and tell us what’s going on,” Balcom explained. “We need their photos and ideas, their ad and subscription support. The newspaper does its best work with that partnership.”
Balcom will now take a hiatus from journalism, and said she plans to assist her elderly parents and also do a bit of traveling. Sometime this fall, she and her husband will pack up their living quarter horse trailer, along with their horse and mule, and “drive off into the sunset.”
However, Balcom insisted her hiatus is not retirement—just a break. She enjoys writing too much to give it up completely.
“Active writing helps me understand issues and people better,” she said. “Ideas come out that I never realized I had. I enjoy that experience and I’ll probably pick it up again in the future.”
With Balcom’s departure, Audrey Posten, 22, of Prairie du Chien, will take over as the new editor of the North Iowa Times.
Posten attended River Ridge High School. She is the daughter of Brent and Nancy Posten and has one younger brother, Derek.
She recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a degree in journalism and history.
While at UWM, Posten wrote for the school newspaper, as well as a website called Urban Milwaukee. She also covered community events and village board meetings for Patch.com, a Village of Whitefish Bay, Wis., news website.
In her free time, Posten enjoys watching and attending Milwaukee Brewers baseball games and spending time with friends and family. She also enjoys reading and watching documentaries, and she enjoys learning about Civil War history. “I know it sounds kind of nerdy,” she added.
Part of journalism’s value, she understands, is that it creates the first rough draft of history.
“Journalism is important because it brings people together over common events and issues—it reflects our culture and values, our trials and tribulations, our happy moments,” Posten said. “Plus it informs people, or at least tries to inform people. That’s why people should care about the North Iowa Times—it brings the community together, provides informative news content and gives people the chance to learn something about a neighbor or community member they might have never known.”
Posten has been serving as an intern at the Courier Press this summer and training at the North Iowa Times for the past several weeks. She will take the helm as editor for the July 31 issue.