Joan Seppala, who founded The Independent in Livermore in 1963, was honored June 2 along with her newspaper as the Livermore Lions Club’s Citizen of the Year in Alameda County. It was also the occasion of her 80th birthday.
Seppala is a crusader who confirms that the editor is in charge:
“Over the years our reputation for fairness in news coverage has also been a source of strength,” she told the gathered crowd of 185.
“We have adopted an unusual division of power. When I go to our editor Janet Armantrout to ask for another story on one of my grassroots projects, she says, ‘No, we have too many now.’ She is the boss. It’s her job to protect the paper’s balance and integrity. I can work hard on grassroots issues, and depend on an editor who makes sure that the paper is evenhanded.”