Paddock: 'Never forget you are part of a community'
Through the efforts of Robert Y. Paddock Sr. (1917-1999), the Daily Herald has made community service a significant part of its role as a local newspaper. We asked his son, Robert Y. Paddock Jr., the vice chairman/executive vice president of Paddock Publications, about his father's legacy, and how it continues today.
Q. Your dad, Robert Y. Paddock Sr., was known for community involvement, both personally and professionally. Where did that came from?
A: I think it reflected the values of the time, long-standing family traditions and his using the resources he had available. His brother, Stu Jr., was the decision-maker, so as vice chairman my dad was able to turn his attention to serving the community and, in so doing, create goodwill for the company. Growing up in a small town and in a vibrant church environment, he believed in trying to do good.
Family predecessors set good examples, too. His grandfather's newspaper motto reflected a Midwestern, practical, faith-influenced approach to life: "Our Aim: to fear God, tell the truth, and make money."
Q. He clearly believed that a community newspaper has an obligation to the community, didn't he?
A: He started out here as a journalist, and felt that good reporting and editorials were part and parcel of a newspaper's responsibility to the town and its people. His grandfather and father both enjoyed the profession and embraced its responsibilities. My dad truly enjoyed and respected the people he wrote about and with whom he worked.
As the company grew he applied these standards to other roles he took on. He lived his life simply, with a couple of special interests -- having a red car and dancing with abandon. His genuine and caring nature enabled him to develop friendships and contacts that helped him serve the community and the paper.
Q. What were his favorite charities and organizations?
A: He took a special interest in Clearbrook and the Boy Scouts, but his belief in commitment and doing the right thing included fostering good, caring work, prompting him to contribute time and money to many organizations, causes and civic activities.
Q. How does the Daily Herald carry on his legacy today?
A: In spite of changes in the economy and in the ways people consume news, I think the company's civic commitment today is similar to what it was in previous eras. We're larger, yet our journalism still has a focus of service and community. Our front page and the spirit of our journalism focuses on people and needs in the suburbs -- a careful balance of the good, the bad and the interesting.
Letters to the editor have expanded to include online comments and social media. Our bilingual newspaper, Reflejos, presents information and positive insights to and about suburban Latinos. Our Business Ledger finds and shares news with the suburban business community. Near to my dad's heart would be the many creative community events put on by our staff, using the same types of entrepreneurial, creative skills he used when he didn't have an official budget.
Several of our managers serve with civic organizations as he did -- as vice chairman, I have had the opportunity as to be involved in practical community service as well.
National Newspaper Week 2015This is the 75th anniversary of National Newspaper Week. The theme of the Oct. 4-10 week is underscoring the impact of newspapers to communities large and small.
This article is a part of that series. For more stories on the Daily Herald, see http://www.dailyherald.com/topics/Daily-Herald-Media-Group/
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