April 23, 2004

Jill Boomer will head editorial association

by Sue Davis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Jill Boomer, editor of the Jersey County Star, is the new president of the Southern Illinois Editorial Association (SIEA).

Boomer began her one-year term today (April 23) at the SIEA's annual spring meeting at Giant City State Park Lodge. She succeeds Dave Ambrose, publisher of The Gillespie Area News.

"I'm proud to be part of this organization and believe in the goals it sets for small, community-minded newspapers and for journalism in general," she said. "The association also supports journalism students with its scholarships and helps editors and publishers continue to look for ways to improve their products."

Boomer holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from SIUC (1979) and grew up in a newspaper family. "We've been part of SIEA for many years," she said.

Her dad, Joe Michelich, publishes the Jersey County Star and other papers in the South County Publications group. He is also a past president of SIEA.

"We started the Jersey County Star in 1996, and it has been hers from day one," he said. "She's made it what is today. We're proud of her."

"Of course she's a little short in a few areas, like sports," Michelich, the long-time sportswriter for the Auburn Citizen, joked.

The Jersey County Star has a circulation of 1,500 and a weekly readership of nearly 5,000.

Other officers moving up the organization's ladder are Rich Bauer, editor of The Vandalia Leader-Union, to first vice president; Julie Boren, editor of the Pike Press to second vice president; and Mike Springston of Sparta to secretary.

Jerry Reppert, publisher of the Anna Gazette-Democrat, will continue to serve as the organization's treasurer. The SIEA also retained Sue Davis, executive director of Media & Communication Resources at SIUC, as executive secretary. SIEA has been headquartered at the University for more than 50 years.

One-year directors for 2004 are Francis Rees, of Granite City; Kevin Jenison, of Paris; and Tom Mathews Jr., of Fairfield.

Two-year directors are Dan Brannan, of Alton; Bruce Campbell, of Hardin; and Devin Miller, of Carterville.

Three-year directors are J.W. Shults, of Eureka; Paul Povse, of Springfield; and Dennis DeRossett, of Carbondale