Mexico Ledger names newspaper veteran as editor

Mexico Ledger names newspaper veteran as editor
Dave Faries

The Mexico Ledger’s new editor has a passing familiarity with the city. He used to pass through on his way from Columbia to Macomb, Illinois during semester breaks. Now Dave Faries gets to stop and look around. Already he’s happy with what he sees.

“Friendly people, some fun activities, high school sports -- what’s not to love?” Faries says. “Plus we have an ownership committed to a paper that puts the community first.”

Faries started on Monday and will be quickly learning more about the area. But the veteran writer and editor has experience with community publications. He believes that a paper should tell the story of a city and its surrounding areas, from church dinners to local sports and breaking news. Faries encourages residents to send story ideas and information.

“A newspaper belongs to the readers,” he points out. “We want to hear from people, want to know about events and news items. Yes, we are a small staff, but we will try to cover as much as possible.”

Publisher Tim Schmidt is excited to have Faries join the newspaper’s staff and direct its editorial coverage.

“Dave is exactly the type of hire we needed to help our newspaper grow and make The Ledger relevant again in our communities,” Schmidt said. “We are thrilled to hire someone who understands the importance of community journalism.”

Faries comes to Mexico from Monterey, California, where he served as managing editor for the Monterey County Weekly. Before that, he was editor for community dailies and weeklies in California’s wine country and in western Nebraska. But Faries has a lengthy and diverse background in journalism. He began in 1989, writing for the Penn State football highlights show, followed by a stint doing radio play-by-play for high school and college sports in central Pennsylvania. After that, he worked as a restaurant critic in Dallas, Texas. He continued as a food writer for the Prague Post, an English language paper in the Czech Republic, where he also acted as sports writer.

“I guess I’ve done a little of everything,” Faries says with a laugh. “And I’ve worked in a lot of places, but I’ve always been a midwesterner.”

He grew up in Macomb, Illinois and earned degrees in American history at Western Illinois University. He continued graduate studies, specializing in American military history, at the University of Missouri and Penn State before his career took an unexpected turn.

Faries hosted a radio sports talk show at the student radio station when he received a call out of the blue asking if he was interested in the Penn State highlights show position.

“About the only thing I can do with any reasonable amount of success is write, so it’s a good thing they called,” he observes.

When not working he follows auto racing, college football, soccer and other sports. He also claims to be addicted to cooking shows.

Faries can be reached at dave@mexicoledger.com or 573-581-1111.

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