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Caroline Titus is News Executive of the Year

The California Press Foundation has announced that the 2019 Justus F. Craemer News Executive of the Year Award will go to Caroline Titus, publisher and editor of the weekly Ferndale Enterprise.

Caroline Titus
Caroline Titus

Caroline Titus has kept the tradition of the Ferndale Enterprise going for the past 25 years.

Titus is her newspaper’s publisher, editor, reporter, business manager, advertising representative, circulation director and photographer. She also has been a champion of open government and transparency, winning major court battles, including public record lawsuits and First Amendment challenges.

Titus also has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the community she lives in by spearheading fundraising events created and sponsored by her and her state and national award-winning newspaper.

And … she’s an innkeeper. (More on that in a minute.)

Remember last year, when the Boston Globe asked editors from around the country to weigh in with op-eds fighting back against attacks on the press?

Of course Titus said her piece:

“We’ve been instructed where to sit at public meetings and told not to move, told not to ask questions of public officials, kicked out of public meetings, yelled at while taking photos at public meetings, threatened physically multiple times, had restraining orders issued by a judge to protect us, had our spouse fired from his job over the content in this newspaper, been called every sexist name in the book, had anonymous letters blanket the town disparaging us, had salacious renderings of us taped in store windows and, recently — the same week as five journalists were killed in Maryland — been described as a ‘predator that needs eradication’.

“Meantime, in order to keep a free press going in this small town, we put up with rising printing and postage costs and have chosen to open up the newspaper’s headquarters for overnight guests — that means cleaning toilets and stripping beds, in between writing headlines, reporting stories, attending meeting after meeting, delivering newspapers and keeping a small business afloat.

“Is it worth it? You betcha.”

Cal Press will present the award Thursday evening, Dec. 5 at its 142nd Annual Winter Meeting in San Francisco. Please be there to give Titus a proud California ovation.

Previous honorees

Other Cal Press honors announced so far include the Philip N. McCombs Achievement Award to Marty Weybret, former publisher, Lodi News-Sentinel; the Mark Twain Award for Journalism Excellence in California to the late Jonathan Gold, Los Angeles Times; and California Newspaper Hall of Fame inductees Almena Lomax, Los Angeles Tribune; and 1930 CNPA President Ford A. Chatters, Lindsay Gazette. Still to be announced are the Jack Bates Award for Distinguished Service to the California Press and the First Amendment Coalition’s Open Government Award.

Read more in the Cal Press newsletter

The 142nd Annual Cal Press Winter Meeting is Dec. 5-6 at the Marines Memorial Club & Hotel in San Francisco. CNPA members are welcome to learn about and join Cal Press for the event.

Winter Meeting registration is now open.

The Cal Press room block at the Marines Memorial Club & Hotel closes Nov. 20. Questions: Please contact Vanessa Henderson at 916-288-6017.

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