At a time when experts advance dire predictions for local news, the good news in New Hampshire is that Steve Taylor is going to help rewrite that future as a member of the New Hampshire Center for Public Interest Journalism’s board of directors.
The nonprofit Center publishes InDepthNH.org, an online daily news outlet that reports on issues that matter in New Hampshire.
Taylor, a lifelong New Hampshire resident, is a farmer, writer and scholar of rural life. He joined the board recently after seeing the need for in-depth reporting in New Hampshire as the number of news jobs continues to shrink. Many remember him as the state commissioner of agriculture from 1982 to 2007, but he had his roots in journalism long before then.
“InDepthNH has some great writers and is doing one-of-a-kind journalism, the kind our state really needs,” Taylor said. “I want to see it grow and broaden its service to the people of New Hampshire.”
Taylor will be a great addition to the board, with a diverse background including his time as a journalist. He started out as a sports stringer in high school and was editor of the student newspaper at the University of New Hampshire, said Nancy West, founder and executive editor of InDepthNH.org.
After his Army service, Taylor was a general assignment reporter for The Portsmouth Herald and for seven years was managing editor of the Valley News in West Lebanon. For a decade he worked as a freelance writer, contributing to diverse publications, including the former New Hampshire Times alternative weekly.
“Whenever I needed a good story idea when I worked at the Union Leader, I’d call Steve and it wouldn’t take long for one to gel,” West said. “We are excited about all that he brings to the board, especially his understanding of what has transpired in the world of local news here and his ideas to reshape its future.”
Taylor was the founding executive director of the New Hampshire Humanities Council and is a lifelong student of the state’s rural culture.
With his wife and three sons, Taylor developed a dairy and maple farm in Meriden Village and continues to be active in the family farm. He writes and speaks frequently on topics of interest to him.
Those topics fascinate audiences across the state, ranging from how highway projects over the years impacted local communities, to New Hampshire’s love/hate relationship with agricultural fairs, difficulties funding education dating back to the one-room schoolhouse, and a history of how New Hampshire treats poor people.
The rest of the board welcomes Steve, too. They include Gloria Norris of Santa Monica, Calif., a writer and film producer who wrote KooKooLand; Bob Charest of Epsom, an author and retired editor from the Union Leader and The Eagle Tribune; Laurie Storey-Manseau of Hopkinton, owner of StoreyManseau, LLC; Gina Gilmore of Newington, CFO, GlobaFone; Attorney Rick Gagliuso of the Bernstein Shur law firm in Manchester; and Eagle Tribune editor Rosemary Ford.