Michael Bushnell and Christine Adams celebrate 21 years of publishing community newspaper

Elizabeth Orosco
Northeast News

The Northeast News is celebrating 21 years as the independent voice of the Historic Northeast under the ownership of Michael and Christine Bushnell.

Originally founded in 1932, this award-winning community newspaper has grown, adapted, and changed along with the surrounding neighborhoods.

The Northeast News covered the war in the 1940s through the eyes and ears of those serving in the U.S Army.

In the 1950s, Tom Patton and Mr. Hill produced The Northeast News as a weekly chronicle of the Northeast community.

In 1976, Terry and Mary Brock purchased the paper and relocated the publication from St. John Avenue to 6612 Independence Ave., and then moved back to the 4600-block of St. John.

The Northeast News currently sits on the corner of St. John Avenue and Topping, in the heart of the Indian Mound Neighborhood.

With 87 years of history in the community, we continue to strive to bring residents quality and relevant articles on events, updates and happenings in the Historic Northeast.

Publisher Michael Bushnell spoke at last month’s Northeast Kansas City Chamber luncheon to spotlight the last two decades and cast vision for the future.

“I am proud of what we’ve done because of not only the awards that we’ve won, but the way the community responds to news stories that we write,” he said.

Discussing the deep-rooted history of The Northeast News, he highlighted the importance of community journalism and what it offers to neighborhoods.

“As a community journalism outlet, I think community journalism is extremely important from the standpoint that it’s totally different from mainstream media,” he said. “I think people in our community get that. They know they are going to read about the soccer fields or they’re going to see something about their community in the pages of our newspaper, on our website, or on social media. It’s important to the community and that’s the model that we are after.”

For the first time, 100 percent of the current staff lives in the Northeast community, highlighting the effect of not only writing and delivering the stories, but living them.

“We don’t only write the stories every week, we live them every day,” he said. “We are not going to come in, shoot video and leave. We will be coming back, following up, and ultimately be living these stories everyday.”

One particular goal owners Michael and Christine have is to create a regional community journalism incubator, offering new journalists the platform to hone skills, talents, and grasp the importance of truly knowing and understanding the community in which one writes for.

“We’ll train competent media professionals that can go out into the world and sit in an editor’s chair or a reporter’s chair and feel comfortable on day one if their assignment editor says ‘take the camera, get shots and comments’ that is the ultimate goal,” he said.

Creative Arts Director Bryan Stalder said he would like to see the delivery area expand as well as continued engagement from community members.

“I just want to grow into a media company of the future, but I want to maintain the root of our product—the physical copy of the paper—which I think is really valuable to the working class and elderly folks that live in the neighborhood,” said Stalder.

As we continue to cover the events, updates, and moving parts of the community, we are excited to expand our boundaries and continue to deliver quality, award-winning stories that are important to readers.

“It’s a huge honor and privilege to be 21 years into this gig and have the team that we have, especially right now,” said Bushnell. “This is the strongest team we’ve ever had. I’m looking forward to it.

Current staff includes Creative Arts Director Bryan Stalder, Advertising Representative Dorri Partain, Editorial Assistant Layne Stracener, and Managing Editor Elizabeth Orosco.

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