Balcom bids farewell to the North Iowa Times
By Audrey Posten
Since taking over as editor of the North Iowa Times in 2006, Trudy 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. Through it all, Balcom said the parades and Memorial Day events were some of her favorite activities to cover.
“They are just a great expression of how the community comes together,” she said.
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 North Iowa Times as a trusted source of community information as one of her biggest accomplishments.
Balcom said that trust is a two-way street. “I’m proud of the trust people have placed in me,” she said. “I take that very seriously.”
While Balcom has covered countless stories over the years, she said one in particular stands out—the May 2008 immigration raid in Postville.
“I arrived at St. Bridget’s Church to see hundreds of people who did not know where their families were,” Balcom recalled. “People were already setting up diaper and food drives. It was just really moving the way people came together. There was a lot of giving, especially in Marquette and McGregor.”
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.” Other adventures will include outdoor activities like hiking, camping and paddle sports.
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.”