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Cuttin’ and pastin’ in the early 90s

Karole Stockton reflects on her time at the Central Oregonian

by: BILL MINTIENS/SPECIAL TO THE CENTRAL OREGONIAN - High Desert Bonnie Lass, Karole Stockton, and High Desert Gypsy.

Bill Mintiens
   Karole Stockton is a familiar face around Prineville. She’s been here more than 40 years and has been involved with numerous community service organizations.
   “I tell people that I’ve been here since rocks and water,” jokes Stockton.
   Born in St. Louis Mo., educated in the Midwest and Southern California, Stockton first came to Prineville in the early 60s after a teaching stint in Lakeview Ore.
   “We came to Prineville because my husband got a job as a teacher and coach. I knew this was going to be a good place to raise our family,” recalled Stockton.
   Stockton held a variety of jobs in Prineville. “I’ve done everything from checking groceries to tending bar here, but one of my favorite jobs was with the Central Oregonian.”
   It was the early 90s when Stockton joined the advertising department. The newspaper had not yet fully implemented computers, so advertising duties were quite different than they are today.
   “When I first got there, I carried my own typewriter to work because it was a nice electronic one and only the editorial staff had computers at the time,” recalled Stockton.
   The very process of designing the newspaper was still very much hands-on as well.
   “Back then we did ‘cut and paste’ advertising on big stand-up white boards — this is how we laid out the newspaper. I was fascinated by the composition work,” said Stockton.
   Eventually the advertising department received computers and the process became much more efficient.
   “When the editorial staff got their computers upgraded, we finally got computers, which were great for keeping files. And then we started receiving advertising pieces on CDs, which really made the whole process simpler.”
   Stockton was with the Central Oregonian about seven years, working under the leadership of former publisher Jim Smith and former editor Tony Ahern (now publisher of the Madras Pioneer). She recalls Smith’s philosophy about the newspaper’s coverage area.
   “Jim Smith wouldn’t report on anything that wasn’t local to Prineville. If it happened in Redmond, even if it involved his own family, he wouldn’t report on it because it wasn’t local, it was out of bounds. He really held the line.”
   Stockton has always held a different perspective on area news coverage.
   “I’ve always felt that some (news) things were relative because they interacted with things locally. We only covered Crook County back then and we didn’t go outside the county with news.”
   Over the years, Stockton believes there have been positive changes at the Central Oregonian.
   “The paper has definitely changed. Broadening the news focus has been good and it hasn’t lost the local focus that is so important. We’ve become such a ‘region’ now that it’s important the Central Oregonian covers the entire area while throwing in just enough national and international news to keep people current with what’s going on,” said Stockton.
   On the importance of a local community newspaper Stockton is very clear.
   “I really liked working at the paper. The Central Oregonian is very important to this community. A local paper has the pulse of the community. It needs to do community reporting — keeping people informed about what’s going on.”
   Following her years at the Central Oregonian, Stockton worked as the branch office administrator for the new Edward Jones office in Prineville. She then worked with Lynn Lundquist as his administrative assistant during his tenure as Republican Speaker of the Oregon House, in Salem.
   For the past 13 years, Stockton has worked at Crestview Cable, overseeing the company’s ad channel, channel 4, a service channel that runs paid advertising and public service announcements for the community.
   Her two Australian shepherds, High Desert Gypsy and Gypsy’s daughter, High Desert Bonnie Lass, accompany her to work every day. “They’re very well-behaved and it’s fun having them here in the office,” said Stockton.
   Stockton is well known for her devotion to community service work. This past May, she received the Prineville-Crook County Chamber of Commerce’s Lifetime Achievement award.
    “Receiving that award was overwhelming —– just flat surprising,” said Stockton.
   She’s also the co-chair of the Homeless Leadership Coalition for Crook County and a member of the City of Prineville’s budget committee.
   Stockton’s motivation to be so involved with community service stems from a passion to help people.
   “It’s about people — just people. I’m just trying to make things better for children and families because I’ve been on both sides of the equation. I’ve seen the best and I’ve experienced the worst. Life is sacred. Things can change in literally a heartbeat,” said Stockton.