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Selected Editorials from the Editor

Suns & Shields Christian Inspirational Writings by Rachelle Hamlin

Selected editorials from Dr. Katherine Albrecht, Ed. D.


The Roberts Trap is Sprung

By:  Bill Dunne
One of the most overlooked aspects of the year just ended is the vindication of Chief Justice John Roberts -- a vindication that showed up as the national catastrophe known as ObamaCare got rolling.  Roberts may have also doomed Hillary Clinton's chance to live in the White House again... click here to read whole editorial


Fort Fairfield Journal Celebrates 10th Anniversary


Fort Fairfield Journal, May 28, 2014

   The Fort Fairfield Journal has been in print for 10 years with this edition of the newspaper.  Started by 36 year-old sound system contractor, David Deschesne in May, 2004, the Fort Fairfield Journal has undergone some considerable changes over the past decade.

   FFJ was started a few months after the former Fort Fairfield Review, the town’s 115 year-old newspaper, went out of business.  Deschesne, who had no experience in writing or publishing decided to take on the project as a part-time venture.  “I planned to continue doing what I do well, that is, commercial sound system installation and rentals,” said Deschesne, “and the Journal was going to simply be a part-time job.”

   The part time job soon turned into a full time job as Deschesne underwent a rapid, highly vertical learning curve in the publishing business.  “Building speaker cabinets, or installing sound systems are really taking raw components and putting them together to form a finished product. In that respect, news writing and newspaper publishing was simply another finished product I learned how to assemble.”

   Deschesne has no college education and has never been formally trained to write or publish newspapers which has at once led to a vehemently independent and unconventional newspaper while receiving resounding criticism from  some reporters in the “mainstream” media who refuse to consider the FFJ as a legitimate news source.

  “I admit some of my ideas, or angles are a bit controversial, but that may only be due to the fact that people aren’t used to considering them because the rest of the controlled ‘mainstream’ news decides what they’ll report and what they won’t.  This sort of self-imposed censorship by the mainstream media is what I was trying to circumvent.  After all, there would be no point in writing just another mainstream-oriented newspaper—the newspaper stands are already filled with papers like that.”

   While receiving no formal, or college level, training in research, writing or publishing Deschesne does cite some unconventional sources that spurred his  motivation to begin researching.  Some of those sources have been alternate newscasts from such programs as The Alex Jones Show, The Power Hour and Pastor Butch Paugh’s Call to Decision Ministries, mostly found on short-wave and internet.

   “We as a society have been robbed by the government,” explains Deschesne.  “At the national level especially and in some cases at the local level, it’s as if a band of common criminals put on suits, polished up their smiles and convinced the public to elect them to office so they could steal from us more legitimately.  I merely became interested in how those thieves were metaphorically ‘breaking into my house’ and ‘stealing my stuff’ so I could take measures to prevent them from doing so in the future.  That’s the essence of my ideological slant in FFJ—to teach people the mechanism by which the criminals in government do steal from them every day and how they can work toward preventing it if they want to.”

   Originally started in conventional newsprint, FFJ was printed on the press of the St. John Valley Times in Madawaska for its first four years.

   “That was when I could only afford black and white copy,” said Deschesne.  “In a world where all the other newspapers in the newsstand are full color, I knew I had to do something better on my front page, above the fold, in order to compete.  So, I chose to focus on pictures that were better composed, interesting and shot with a good camera.  You will not find a picture, on FFJ’s front page, of guys lined up handing an oversized check to someone else because that type of picture simply isn’t interesting.”

   In August, 2008, FFJ began printing ‘in house’ at Bookmart in Fort Fairfield, which was started by David and his wife, Tammy that year.  The printing was done on a conventional large capacity black & white laser printer common in most large offices.  The paper, printed on standard 11x17 paper began to be assembled by hand using a proprietary process developed by David and is still in use today. 

   A few months later, FFJ advanced to providing a consistently full color front page and ability to provide full color advertisements—a first for Fort Fairfield’s newspaper.

    While Tammy does assist in assembling and mailing subscriptions, David continues to research, write, photograph, design, layout, print, market, and distribute the Journal with a full time staff of one person—himself.

   Over the past ten years, there has been a steady move by society away from hard copy printed paper for their news to internet-based sources.  This has resulted in a noticeable shift away from print copy to digital, online copy for the news media industry as a whole.   Deschesne notes this convenience feature of the internet may not be beneficial to society in the long run.

   “Think back to when I was in Jr. High, and the first home computers were coming into the fore, the Radio Shack TRS-80 running BASIC computer programming language.  Now, just thirty years later, none of the data that was stored on those old cassettes and floppy discs are accessible unless you happen to have a functioning computer of that era that can read it,” reflects Deschesne.  “Think of today’s technology thirty, fifty or even one hundred years from now.  If our town’s history is archived solely in the digital realm and technology changes so dramatically, there conceivably will come a time when that information will be lost to future generations because of the inability to access it—not to mention the ease with which government and other malevolent actors can corrupt and change the information to suit their needs, much the same way the Ministry of Truth did in Orwell’s prophetic novel, 1984.”

   With the desire to archive the town’s and nation’s history in a hard-copy paper format—one that will always “open”—Deschesne plans to continue printing the Fort Fairfield Journal as long as the market will support it. 

   While FFJ does have a web presence for convenience, it is currently being archived in hard copy print form at the Fort Fairfield Public Library, alongside a collection of over a century of the former Fort Fairfield Review.   These hard-copy printed papers will become an invaluable resource for people researching their town’s history in the future when the data is either lost, mistranslated, corrupted, or improperly transferred in the highly volatile digital realm of online sources.







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