March 2, 2021

Dwayne Fatherree is community editor at The Daily Iberian in New Iberia, Louisiana, a city near the Gulf Coast in south-central Louisiana. Fatherree has worked in journalism for 30 years, including a short stint as a TV station’s news director, and now edits and reports for his 12,000-circulation paper.

Part of his challenge has been convincing readers to take the coronavirus seriously without alarming them, as well as interviewing local politicians who denied the pandemic was that bad, especially in the early days. Fatherree believes local connections have kept the newspaper going, as people have turned to it during a chaotic year.

“I think that we’ve managed to keep a very strong relationship with the community,” he said. “And I think that that shows, and I think that’s been appreciated.”

Listen to the oral history interview:

Read the transcript.

See more from The Essential Workers, an oral history project tracking the experiences of locally owned newspapers in Mid-America during the pandemic.

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Will Mari is an assistant professor of media law and media history at the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University. He studies…
Will Mari

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