Crews in 2013

Tim Crews, the iconic editor and publisher of the twice-weekly Sacramento Valley Mirror in Willows, Glenn County, died Nov 12, 2020, in Redding after a lengthy hospitalization. He was 77 and had cellulitis, pneumonia and a stroke.

Crews was a dogged defender of journalistic access and transparency in government. His resistance to revealing confidential sources once put him in jail for five days, and his crusades on behalf of the public led to several court battles and legal victories.

Crews was named Newspaper Executive of the Year in 2009 by the California Press Association, and he received the CNPA Freedom of Information Award in 2013, plus several other statewide and national accolades.

Still, Crews’ watchdog work was tempered by his small-town newsman’s sense: “He’d cover crime but also covered the community events like the Glenn County Fair or the Junior Livestock Auction,” the Chico Enterprise-Record‘s obituary said. “He wouldn’t charge for obituaries either.”

“He didn’t back down. He was very dedicated to his work,” said Larry Judkins, The Mirror’s assistant managing editor, who worked with Crews for 26 years.