adBlockCheck

80 Percent Of Small-Town Newspaper Written By Jerry Schoepke

Top Headlines

Recent News

How Obamacare Can Be Improved

With Aetna just the latest health insurance provider to opt out of covering Obamacare markets, many are wondering what changes can make the Affordable Care Act more appealing to customers and insurance companies. Here are some proposed improvements

NASA Discovers Distant Planet Located Outside Funding Capabilities

WASHINGTON—Noting that the celestial body lies within the habitable zone of its parent star and could potentially harbor liquid water, NASA officials announced at a press conference Thursday they have discovered an Earth-like planet located outside their funding capabilities.

A Primer On Everyday Sexism

Though opportunities for women have increased considerably over the past century, insidious everyday sexism continues to inform the female experience. Here are some commonly asked questions about this pervasive form of discrimination

Diehard Trump Voters Confirm Rest Of Nation Should Stop Wasting Time Trying To Reach Them

‘If Anything Could Change Our Minds, It Would’ve Happened By Now,’ Say Candidate’s Supporters

WASHINGTON—Saying it should be very clear by now that absolutely nothing can change their position on the matter, steadfast supporters of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump told the rest of the nation Wednesday that it really shouldn’t bother trying to persuade them not to vote for him.

Mom Learns About New Vegetable

MERRILVILLE, IN—Excitedly sharing the news with her husband and two teenage children, local mother Karen Tyson, 49, learned about a new vegetable Wednesday, sources confirmed.

Tim Kaine Found Riding Conveyor Belt During Factory Campaign Stop

AIKEN, SC—Noting that he disappeared for over an hour during a campaign stop meet-and-greet with workers at a Bridgestone tire manufacturing plant, sources confirmed Tuesday that Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine was finally discovered riding on one of the factory’s conveyor belts.

Why Don’t People Like Hillary Clinton?

Although she’s secured the Democratic presidential nomination, many voters across all demographics are still hesitant to vote for Hillary Clinton. The Onion breaks down the reasons Clinton is having a hard time luring reluctant voters.

Cover Letter Specifically Tailored To Company Even Sadder Than Generic Ones

BEDMINSTER, NJ—Wincing noticeably as they read the applicant’s claim that he has “always wanted to work for the leading midsize pharmaceutical advertising and brand strategy group in the tri-state area,” sources at Percepta Healthcare Communications confirmed Tuesday that a cover letter specifically tailored to their company was much sadder than any of the generic ones they had received for a recently posted job opening.
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next

80 Percent Of Small-Town Newspaper Written By Jerry Schoepke

CRESTLINE, OH—Covering beats as diverse as Crestline city government, Crestline High School football, and Crestline births and deaths, Crestline Gazette reporter Jerry Schoepke writes an estimated 80 percent of the weekly community newspaper.

A recent issue of <i>The Gazette</i>. Inset: Schoepke.

"I'd say Jerry is writing about four-fifths of what goes in these days," Gazette editor-in-chief Ralph Dilger said Monday. "He really stepped up to the plate after [former reporters] Marty and Barb Dutler moved to Ashland County in 1999."

The Crestline Gazette's lone staff writer and among the most important of its nine fulltime employees, Jerry Schoepke's name can be found throughout the paper.

"Pretty much, as you page through and look at the bylines, you'll see Jerry Schoepke, Jerry Schoepke, Jerry Schoepke, Ralph Dilger, Jerry Schoepke," managing editor Wendell Greggs said. "Until you get to the Outdoors section, that is. Then it's Ty Yeager, Jerry Schoepke, Ty Yeager."

Established in 1979, the 5,000-circulation Gazette serves Crestline and parts of the nearby towns of Leesville and Shelby. Schoepke said he feels a strong sense of dedication to the paper, aware of the vital role it plays in the community.

"The Gazette may be small, but it's important for a town to have a source of information they can trust," said Schoepke, whose recent reports include "Route 61 Project Underway," "Kozy Kitchen Damaged In Fire," and "C.H.S. Teachers Barred From Driving Students." "Some papers will print anything to fill up space, but we have higher standards than that. That's why, after 23 years, we're still around, while Crestline News & Shopper and Three-City Record aren't."

On top of his weekly reporting duties, Schoepke writes a monthly column titled "What's Happening?" in which he comments on everything from local goings-on to national trends. Schoepke said the column is his favorite part of the job.

"What's Happening? is the part of the paper where I can get a little crazy," Schoepke said. "It gives me a chance to get anything and everything off my chest."

In one recent installment, titled "No More 'No Parking'!" Schoepke humorously railed against the proliferation of No Parking signs downtown. He compared the signs to flowers, noting that "every spring, more and more of them seem to pop up." In the tongue-in-cheek piece, Schoepke also expressed fear that visitors to Crestline could become confused and think the name of the town is "No Parking."

As frequently as his name appears in bylines, Schoepke writes even more items for which he is not credited.

"I get the recipes for 'Homemaker's Helper' off the wire, so I can't really claim credit for them," Schoepke said. "And I do the Who, What & Where society column, but my name's not on it, because I feel it's better off attributed to a fictional character so it remains consistent through the years. I also leave my name off the movie reviews I write because, although I do write them quite regularly to help Wendell out, I don't want to get into any conflicts over negative reviews with [local theater owner] Tim Hough, who's a good friend."

Born and raised a short distance from Crestline in Mansfield, Schoepke graduated with a journalism degree from the University of Akron in 1979. After "bouncing around" a number of newspapers in Ohio and Michigan, he relocated to Crestline and "found [his] home" at The Gazette.

"The Gazette is pretty much the ears and eyes of Crestline," Schoepke said. "If something's happening in Crestline, you'll read about it here. That means I'm pretty busy most of the time. For example, today I went over to the sporting-goods store to do a story on the scuffle over fishing licenses, then I dropped by the new bakery on Spruce Road, and then I headed over to the high school to cover the big wrestling tournament."

Concerned about Schoepke's heavy workload, Dilger said he plans to hire another reporter soon. Dilger noted, however, that skilled journalists who know the local scene are hard to come by, and that the meager starting salaries at The Gazette "sure don't help matters."

"Hopefully, someone qualified will move to Crestline soon," Dilger said. "Or maybe one of the graduating seniors will come by. I should ask [Crestline High School newspaper advisor] Terri Easton if she's got any good kids this year who might want to give an internship a whirl."

In addition to his 50 hours at the paper, Schoepke works 10 hours a week stocking and packaging dried goods at his wife Suzanne's health-food store.

"Jerry is on the go all the time," Suzanne said. "I'm always telling him, 'You can miss a town-council meeting once in a while. Nothing ever happens, anyway.' But he won't hear of it. He takes his job very seriously. It's important for him to do it right."

Schoepke's presence is a familiar one at Crestline community events.

"Everyone knows Jerry," town-council president Stan Schumacher said. "He's always in the back with his notebook and tape recorder. If there's a big deal going on, like the Crestline Days festival or something, he'll bring a photographer, but he usually takes the pictures himself."

Despite his passion for local politics, Schoepke said he has to be careful not to let his own views seep into the articles he writes about such hot-button community issues as the funding of a new municipal pool or the garbage-collection fee for residents outside the city line.

"As a journalist, I have to remain impartial," Schoepke said. "So if I have an opinion, I put it in an opinion column, not a news story. Or else, I'll write a letter to the editor and sign it 'Anonymous.'"

Schoepke, who attends a yearly journalism conference in Columbus to keep abreast of current trends in his profession, said he is not content to rest on his laurels.

"The Gazette needs to keep pushing the envelope to remain relevant in today's media environment," Schoepke said. "So far, I think we're doing a pretty good job. You'd be surprised how often someone says to me, 'Hey, Jerry, I saw that article you wrote in the paper.' It's at least a few times a year. That's a good feeling."

Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

X Close