Posts Tagged ‘Pitzer’

Pitzer uses journalism, editing skills to revolutionize rural media

By Dylan Widger
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Turning a newspaper from a small town paper into the top weekly paper in the state is no small feat.

Carrie Pitzer did it in two years.


Carrie Pitzer, owner of Pitzer Digital and My Local County News

 Pitzer owns Pitzer Digital and is editor-in-chief of My Local County News in Neligh, Nebraska. During her career, she has served as editor of her college publication as well as a reporter and editor at the Fremont Tribune and the Norfolk Daily News.

Pitzer became interested in journalism  in high school. She worked for the yearbook at Orchard Public School in Orchard, Nebraska. Tom Osborne, the head football coach for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln at the time, came to Orchard to visit one of the players on the football team who was graduating and looking to play at the college level.

Osborne was and continues to be a legend in Nebraska, and everyone wanted to meet him while he was there. However, he only met with the coach and the player as well as a school yearbook staffer. Pitzer was selected to interview him, and she said that being able to meet and interview a celebrity like Osborne sparked her interest in journalism.

Now with more experience in journalism, she said, her favorite part of the job has shifted.

“That opened my eyes to the opportunities with the role,” she said, “which is interesting since my favorite part of what I do is the opposite — showcasing the efforts of lesser-known people.”

Pitzer graduated from Midland University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in December of 2000. While there, she worked for campus publications and became the youngest editor-in-chief of the yearbook at the age of 19.

Right out of high school and during her time in college, Pitzer started writing sports stories for the Norfolk Daily News. While balancing school, work and the long commute between Norfolk and Fremont, she started writing for national sports publications.

During her third year of college, she accepted a full-time position at the Norfolk Daily News as a reporter. While there, she earned many awards for writing, design and photography. In 2003, she was given the Associated Press Sports Column of the Year award for her story after Nebraska fired defensive coordinator Craig Bohl. 

“That was a big deal for a small daily newspaper,” she said.

Carrie and her husband, Wade, purchased land in Antelope County and returned home in 2005 to build a home and start a family. They have lived in the area with their two daughters, Shelby and Izzy, since.

After the move, Carrie continued working at the Norfolk Daily News until 2012. In 2013, the Pitzers opened Pitzer Digital, a marketing and multimedia company in Neligh. They have since expanded to include publications such as the Antelope County News and Knox County News.

Having a small town newspaper helps showcase community members who are making a big impact on the people and the communities around them. For Pitzer, this is the best part of her job.

“I’ve interviewed more celebrities and well-known individuals than I can even remember, but the best part of my job is showcasing the efforts of ordinary people,” she said. “Most people don’t believe there is anything special about them, so to find that specialty and showcase it is very rewarding. Everyone deserves their moment in the spotlight, and I’m proud to have a publication that works hard to recognize those efforts.”

In 2016, Pitzer Digital purchased the Orchard News and started publication of the Antelope County News along with the Orchard paper. Later that year, the Nebraska Press Association (NPA) recognized the Orchard News as one of the top three fastest-growing publications in the state of Nebraska in their division. In 2018, the Orchard News was recognized as the Best Weekly Newspaper in the state of Nebraska.

Pitzer said that she takes a lot of pride in accomplishing so much in such a short time. 

“I’m pretty proud of that because we were able to make that big of a turnaround within our first year,” she said. “It’s incredible how far we managed to come in just under a year.”

Pitzer said that her biggest piece of advice for student journalists is to start at the bottom and get valuable real-world experience.

“I’m running into a lot of students that have been pampered and not given real-world experience,” she said. “They need to have more entry-level opportunities so they can learn how to do these things to help them prepare for the better positions later on.”