Jones, Max 2020 C-N

Max Jones, editor of the Commercial-News in Danville, Illinois, and the Tribune-Star in Terre Haute, Indiana

It’s been a spring like no other I can remember. The coronavirus pandemic that began last winter in China and spread quickly to other parts of the world finally crashed in on middle America in late February and early March.

It’s now been two months since our lives became dramatically altered by the ensuing public health crisis. In some moments, the whirlwind of time makes it feel like it only started yesterday. In others, it seems like it’s been two years rather than two months.

The casualties of the pandemic and economic fallout are everywhere. While the public health crisis hasn’t hit Danville and Vermilion County as harshly as in other places, that could change at any time. What we have all felt is the economic and social impact.

Your newspaper, the Commercial-News, has not been exempt from economic pain. As retail outlets closed or reduced services, advertising revenue declined. That forced the Commercial-News to react, and that resulted in the reduction of a print edition — from six to five — each week. It also led to the decision to have the Commercial-News share an editor with the nearby Tribune-Star in Terre Haute, Indiana.

That editor is me. Hello, Danville. It’s a pleasure to meet you.

My mission here is simple. As a community newspaper editor, I’m here to serve you.

I feel privileged to join a skilled and veteran staff. Their passion for covering the communities in this region is evident in the work they do each day. They demonstrate an obvious commitment to the principles of good journalism.

My professional challenge will be to balance my time and energy between the Commercial-News and the newspaper in Terre Haute. That will be aided tremendously by the depth of experience in the Danville newsroom. Jennifer Bailey and Carol Roehm know their beats well and have been reporting and writing about important topics and issues for many years. Christopher Morrical has been editing, writing and producing content for print and online editions for years as well, and has served masterfully as acting editor since the departure of longtime editor Larry Smith in March.

Mary Wicoff specializes in writing feature stories and editing the all-important community sections. She has her fingers on the pulse of the community.

Chad Dare, an accomplished sports editor and writer, is in many ways the face of the Commercial-News. He’s the one you see at sporting events, capturing and recording the thrills and excitement of local athletic competition. He is assisted in presenting the local sports section by Marvin Holman, who manages sports content and produces it for print and online.

Our two part-time photographers, Deb Edwards and Susan McKinney, witness activities and document them through the lens of a camera. The images they produce are a permanent photographic record of the community’s biggest moments.

I’ve been watching the content being produced by this staff for several weeks and marvel at both the quantity and quality of their output.

Commercial-News readers should be thankful they have this talented group serving them. During this time when local news is so important to readers, this staff is demonstrating its value to the community repeatedly.

As journalists, we will strive to inform, engage, entertain, excite and provoke.

We will do so with great attention to accuracy and integrity. We want you to view us as trustworthy, reliable and credible.

As I educate myself about the Danville community, I invite readers to let me know what information you want and need from your newspaper and share any story ideas you have. As you respond to us, we will respond to you. You can reach me at

Thank you for reading the Commercial-News.

Max Jones is editor of the Commercial-News in Danville and the Tribune-Star in Terre Haute, Ind. Follow him on Twitter @TribStarMax.

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