"We will make every effort to see that our reporting of events is unbiased, unwarped and unslanted, and we will strive to attribute no undue praise or disrepute to any individual, group or organization. In short, we promise you the very best that in us is."
These words, published in the first edition as an open letter and mission statement to the people of Overton County, created the foundation on which Overton County News is built.
When the NEWS was purchased by Carson and Vicki Oliver in 1983, the mission did not change and still remains.
But some things must change, and on September 11,1998 OCN changed location moving into a new 7,200 square-foot building at 415 West Main Street.
"Ever increasing reader and customer support prompted the need for a larger facility," publisher Carson Oliver said. "We always want to give a quality product in whatever we do, be it printing, office supplies, or the newspaper. The public's response has shown we are doing something right, and we appreciate it."
The NEWS strives to be the most reliable source of news for Overton County. Community events and society happenings are given ample coverage, as is sports, and humor is also a part of the weekly newspaper's make-up.
"North County Lines" by Bob, a mix of humor and social commentary began in the September 16,1992 edition. The column has won many awards in the Tennessee Press Association's annual contest.
The NEWS has won numerous awards for advertisements, including many first place awards in the TPA's Annual Ideas Contest.
From that first edition of May 11, 1967 to the present day, the NEWS staff and management have strived to give Overton County the best and most reliable news coverage.
Along with the newspaper, OCN also offers office supplies, custom printing, and graphic design.
J.D. Eldridge had given more than 20 years to the newspaper business before he, his wife, and his son and daughter-in-law established Overton County News. J.D. and Stella along with Larry and Sue published not only news, community events, and society happenings, but also printed down home humor in the form of the "Cracker Barrel News".
J.D.'s "Cracker Barrel News", an assortment of tales with a local connection, was a weekly staple in the NEWS until the newspaper sold in 1983 to Carson and Vicki Oliver.
Carson Oliver began operating the newspaper on Monday, April 4, 1983. He started his career in the newspaper business working at the Dale Hollow Times, a newspaper operated by Ralph Prather. In 1957, Carson was a freshman at Livingston Academy. He joined the Livingston Enterprise in 1959 and worked there until he and his wife bought the Overton County News and printing plant.
A career in newspapers and printing did not seem likely for Carson as a pupil at McKinley Elementary School in Muncie, IN. Though academically always in the top 20 percent, he failed an industrial arts printing class in the seventh grade, receiving a D. After the family moved back to Livingston in 1959, Carson attended Livingston Academy and graduated in 1960.
Overton County News no longer operates out of the 2,400 square-foot building J.D. Eldridge built in 1964 to house the printing business, but the goal of giving the very best has not changed.