DEMOTTE — The first time Caitlin Able set eyes upon the Indiana countryside, she was a bit surprised by the vast open spaces she encountered.
“It was beautiful. It reminded me a bit of Texas because you can see for forever,” she said. “I’m used to mountains and big, old trees.”
The McMinnville, Tenn., native (located roughly between Nashville and Chattanooga) was named community editor of the Newton County Enterprise in Kentland and Kankakee Valley Post-News in DeMotte.
Able began her new duties Aug. 23 and is adjusting to life in the Midwest.
“There’s a lot of corn,” she said of Indiana. “Coming from Tennessee, there’s a lot of variety — mountains, trees and some farmland, but not agricultural farmland. Coming here and seeing miles and miles of open space with corn and windmills, it is beautiful.”
Able graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in journalism (with an emphasis on media communications) from Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro. She said she’s looking forward to getting to know the people and important issues in Newton and Jasper counties.
“I grew up in a small town and am accustomed to covering local news,” she said. “Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to be a journalist and work, if not for my (hometown) newspaper then in another small town. The news feels more meaningful that way because it’s important to everyone. Every little thing is important.”
During her college days at MTSU, Able worked for four years as a copy writer and editor, as well as for one year as a broadcast news assignment manager.
She also had a brief internship with American Songwriter, a Nashville-based bimonthly magazine covering every aspect of the craft and art of songwriting.
“I had the chance to interview some really interesting artists,” Able said. “I worked largely with the managers but I did get to speak to a few artists directly such as Kassi Ashton, Mimi Gilbert and many more.”
Despite the chance to interview future music stars, the small-town atmosphere is where Able said she is most comfortable.
“Having the opportunity to work in a small town was appealing because I never have wanted to do the big stuff, like the Chicago (Sun-Times) or New York Times,” she said. “I always wanted to work for a smaller paper because people care more.”
Able said she wants to use her web and broadcast skills to make the Newton County Enterprise and KV Post-News websites more interactive for their respective audiences.
“I have combined experience in writing and broadcast journalism, but I enjoy doing video journalism and multimedia journalism, in particular,” she said. “Working to update some of the ways we interact with our audience and give them the news, either through podcasting and audio recordings, videos and more photography-based journalism, is what I want to do.
Able will split her time between the Enterprise and Post-News.