Home Posts tagged Payton North
Class of 2024

Executive Editor, Reminder Publishing: Age 28

Payton North didn’t remember aspiring to being a reporter and editor when she was growing up. But her mother found proof that this was, indeed, a long-standing career goal.

“She found a paper I wrote when I was a sophomore in high school where I talked about how I wanted to be an editor,” said North, who recalls having some interest in broadcast journalism, but eventually desired to make an impact that “would not be limited to a minute or two of soundbites.”

To say North has made that dream come true would be an understatement. She is now executive editor for Reminder Publications, leading efforts to produce eight weekly newspapers, one daily, two monthly magazines, and several specialty publications. She now oversees 20 employees as well as more than a dozen freelance writers and photographers.

She still does some writing, which she enjoys, but acknowledged that much of her time is now devoted to planning, managing, setting a tone for these publications, and mentoring younger staff members.

She acknowledged these are certainly challenging times for print publications, which have lost both readers and advertisers to the internet, but she said the need for local news remains, and such content is perhaps more important than ever.

This is the message she hammers home to young reporters, who often wonder out loud just how important it is to cover that local planning board or school committee meeting. North will answer for them.

“Accountability in our communities is so important,” she explained. “If we don’t have reporters’ boots on the ground covering our select board meetings, our town council meetings, our school board meetings — the local government that is affecting people’s taxes and their children’s school — something very important is lost. Those are the stories that really hit people in their homes, and I’m glad people come to us for that because they can’t get it anywhere else.”

While busy managing publications — and people — North is also active in the community. She volunteers with Valley Eye Radio, a nonprofit that reads and records newspapers and broadcasts in senior centers and hospitals for those who are visually impaired, and also gives of her time at Whispering Horse Therapeutic Riding Center in East Longmeadow.

All of this material could go into a short item for the Reminder’s publications — one announcing that North is a deserving member of the Forty Under 40 class of 2024.

—George O’Brien