SIDNEY — Blythe Alspaugh, of Covington, has joined the Sidney Daily News editorial staff as a reporter.
Alspaugh graduated from Covington High School and Kent State University with a Bachelor of Science in journalism, with a concentration in magazines. During college she was involved in web editing for Kent State’s campus newspaper, The Kent Stater. She also wrote an online movie review blog called Stay Tuned for “The Burr Magazine,” one of the university’s six student-produced magazines.
The SDN news staff is excited to have Alspaugh on board.
“We’re very delighted that Blythe has joined the team,” said Daily News General Manager/Media Director Natalie Buzzard. “She’s a wonderful addition to the staff. We invite the public to contact her with story ideas.”
Alspaugh is responsible for Localife news, writing feature stories and covering local events. She will eventually take over editing the Community page.
While at Kent State, Alspaugh won a first place national award for her in first-person narrative of “Can’t Fix What Isn’t Broken” in “The Burr Magazine” from the Association for Education and Journalism in Mass Communication (AEJMC) Student Magazine Contest. Her piece was also a nominee in Kent State’s 2016 Robert G. McGruder Student Award for Diversity.
“It’s a little bit of a heavy subject matter, but I did write a first-person narrative story my senior year of college about sexual assault. Basically, I was raped in college. Talking about it helps. You raise awareness that way. It happened my freshmen year in college, and I wrote a piece about it my senior year,” Alspaugh explained. “It was really rough for a few years. But opening up and talking about it helped me a lot. Writing the piece helped me a lot, and it helped other people as well. After it got published, I got several messages from people who were telling me, ‘I went through something so similar and reading this helped me a lot.’”
“And yes, I won an award for it from AEJMC — they have yearly awards for campus publications across the country. … — and that’s great, but that’s not what I wrote the story for. And it was great, (to win) but then I had people again contacting me through social media telling me that reading it really helped them. That is really the big moment when I realized that I am on the right career path,” Alspaugh continued.
After graduating from Kent State in 2016 she took a short hiatus from writing to work full time for Marion’s Pizza in Troy before finding her place at the Sidney Daily News. Alspaugh has been on the job since July 17.
Alspaugh has a variety of interests other than writing, including theatre, going to the movies and playing music.
She was recently cast in the Sock and Buskins Players Community Theatre Group’s production of “Steel Magnolias.”
“Theatre is something I’ve been wanting to get back into. (The play) is the first two weekends in November starting Nov. 1. I was always in theatre in high school. And I was in just about any music related activity I could do. I played the saxophone since I was 10 years old, so, for almost 17 years. I joined band when I was 10. ”
Alspaugh’s love for the movies resulted into a movie review on YouTube.
“I started up, in a way, my old college movie review blog, but I’ve done it as a YouTube channel. I only have three videos up and I haven’t done it in months; I need to get back into that,” she said. “It’s a YouTube channel. I do movie reviews, sometimes movie essays about specific movies. A big thing I’m doing is I’ll watch a movie that I’ve never seen that’s been out for a while and been regarded as very popular. I realized recently I haven’t seen an Alfred Hitcock movie, so that will probably be something that I’ll do for the month of October.”
“I just want to help people. And if a human interest story or even (the sexual assault) piece helps somebody, I’ve accomplished my goal,” she said what motivated her to become a journalist.
“We’re really excited that she’s on the staff,” said News Editor Melanie Speicher. “She brings a breath of fresh air in her outlook in looking for stories. We appreciate the skills she adds to the newsroom.”
“The job (at the Sidney Daily News) came at the perfect time. You can’t rush what is supposed to happen. It will come to you when it’s supposed to happen,” Alspaugh said of coming to work for the newspaper after a break from writing after college. “It’s been great here. It’s just been wonderful.”
Send story tips and ideas to her at email@example.com or call her at 937-538-4825.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.