Continues passion for local coverage
By John Faucher
Scott Bellile has been promoted to editor of the New London Press Star and Clintonville Tribune-Gazette.
Bellile, a New London native, is the son of Fred and Mary Bellile.
He began his pursuit in the craft of journalism at a young age.
“I loved reading, writing and following the news so I decided that journalism would be a great way to apply these skills,” he said.
In high school, Bellile frequently penned and contributed stories for his cross country team.
Bellile was valedictorian of his graduating class at New London.
He knew he wanted to pursue the journalism major even before attending UW-Oshkosh in the fall of 2011.
While attending school, Bellile worked at the UW-Oshkosh Advance Titan as a news reporter, cartoonist and news editor.
In the summer of 2014, he participated in a Wisconsin Newspaper Association summer internship at the Campbellsport News. He received state recognition for this during the WNA 2015 Honors Lunch-in.
It was there at the WNA Annual Convention where Press Star and Tribune-Gazette General Manager Dave Wood was introduced to Bellile.
“I was impressed with him right away,” said Wood.
“He mentioned that he had a good experience with his internship and enjoyed working at a weekly newspaper. Knowing that he was from New London, I had hoped he would consider coming home again to begin his career.”
Bellile accepted a job offer from Multi Media Channels, parent company of the Press Star, and Clintonville Tribune-Gazette, in May of 2015.
He came in under the wings of award-winning editors Bert Lehman in New London and Clintonville, and Robert Cloud, of the Waupaca County Post, also a paper of MMC.
Bellile was hired to cover sports and news in all three communities. Upon joining the papers, he also worked closely with senior sports editor for the County Post, Greg Suebert.
Bellile admits he was a bit timid covering sports at first.
While he had a solid news reporting background, he felt he lacked the broad knowledge the world of sports can entail.
For the first months, Bellile continued working with Seubert on sports while covering local government meetings in New London and Hortonville.
“Not only did he step out of his comfort zone to cover sports, but he began covering hard news where his talent really started to show,” said Wood.
Later that year, he and Suebert produced a prep high school football section that won a WNA first place award in the Special Section Editorial Division.
Bellile helped the Press Star staff garner 15 WNA awards, five of them first place in categories including Best Ongoing Extended Coverage, Feature, General News and Spot News Categories in addition to the special section sports award.
In addition, Bellile helped the Clintonville Tribune-Gazette staff win 13 WNA Awards, three of them first place in the categories of All-Around Newspaper Photography, Front Page and Special Section Editorial.
In the fall of 2016, Bellile was nominated for the WNA Foundation “Rookie of the Year” award. Results of the 2016 Better Newspaper Contest will be released at the annual convention on Feb. 24.
“We appreciate the great work and initiative Scott has taken since joining our papers,” said Wood. “We are thrilled to have him step into such an important role so soon.”
Bellile said he is grateful for the opportunity to serve with his colleagues in the MMC family of newspapers as they continue their commitment to local journalism.
“Readers turn to us and our parent website WaupacaNow.com for thorough and hyperlocal coverage of city government, schools, crime and sports that regional media outlets don’t have the time or staff to cover,” said Bellile.
As editor, Bellile said one of his goals is to see increasing coverage of the rural townships that are deeply connected to New London, Hortonville and Clintonville.
“Another goal is finding more local voices to enhance our opinion pages,” said Bellile. “We also continue to explore unique experiences for our print readership versus our online followers,” said Bellile. He cited one such project when sports reporter Erik Buchinger initiated live sports coverage on Twitter for both papers last fall.
“I always welcome suggestions, story ideas and feedback from readers,” said Bellile. “A strong community newspaper depends on input from its audience.”