A new face will be seen throughout the community as The Mena Star and The Ouachita Trading Post has welcomed Whitney White as the new interim publisher. Former publisher Clark Smith resigned the post recently.
White is a former resident of the area who graduated from Mena High School in 1997. She currently serves as general manager for a family of newspapers in Ashley and Chicot counties in the southeast corner of the state.
Though White settled near family in Crossett, she said this community holds memories and friends not easily forgotten. With that in mind, she agreed to relocate for a time and work diligently to ensure a smooth transition as a new, permanent publisher is found.
“Every community has a personality,” White said. “My goal is to give the newspaper time to find the right person, someone who fits with Mena’s personality and can become a solid, flourishing member of the community.”
As the daughter of former Mena Star publisher Barney White, Whitney has been in and around the newspaper business her entire life and fondly recalls that her “first job” of stuffing envelopes as a third grader was part of a subscription drive.
Since then White has worked her way through the industry and now offers a “front door to back door” approach to community journalism. She has experience in all departments and at daily and weekly newspapers.
After graduating from college with a bachelor of science degree in business she resumed her newspaper work in the circulation department of The Ashley News Observer in Crossett helping transition to a new software and database program. Her duties there were extended to include news writing, advertising composition, and page design before she was promoted to editor and general manager at the Chicot County Spectator and Eudora Enterprise.
She focused those newspapers on building community while maintaining their accuracy and integrity. After her return to Crossett the company added another newspaper to its roster and White took on the responsibility of editing and paginating that publication as well again with a focus on community building.
Now she looks forward to offering that same perspective here.
“I plan to visit with business and community leaders about how we might do more to aid their efforts,” she said.
“We’ll also do our best to offer readers the consistent quality they deserve in their newspaper through coverage of local events, people, and government.
“I remember Mena as a vibrant, growing area and would love to use my years of experience to be a part of her next act.”