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About Us

Born at the end of the 19th century, The Walton Tribune has marked more than 110 years as the county’s leading news source. The Tribune is a twice-weekly community newspaper that is the newspaper of record for Walton County, Georgia.

The paper was started in 1900 by a dozen stockholders, and was first edited by W.G. McNelley. Volume 1, No. 1, began with a modest introduction: “This morning, The Tribune makes its polite bow to the public,” the editor's note read. “With a brand new suit, we may appear a little vain, but we assure our friend and readers that we are not at all ‘stuck up.’”

George M. Napier, who later served as Georgia’s attorney general, was the first president of The Tribune Publishing Co.

J.T. Fain and Eugene Smith followed McNelley as editors. On Jan. 1, 1906, Ernest Camp, 25, a native of Swainsboro, took over the editor’s chair for the hefty sum of $50 a month. By 1907, he had acquired the paper’s common stock and become its owner.

Under his watch, the paper earned praise in The Atlanta Journal: “The Walton Tribune is a fine example of wholesome journalism — a source of glad tidings to all it reaches. Time steadily improves and ripens it.”

Camp held the post for 51 years, overseeing the change from a hand press to an electric-powered one, from a hand compositor to the Linotype, hot lead, type-setting machine. Following his death in 1957, Camp’s torch was picked up by a new generation of Camps, primarily Ernest Camp Jr. and Sanders Camp, who carried the paper for another 20 years before its sale to Harte-Hanks in the late 1970s.

Houston-based Southern Newspapers Inc. purchased the paper in 1983 and formed Monroe Newspapers Inc. Publishers in the SNI era included Larry A. Nash, Don Smith, Russell E. Maroney, Robert O. Hale, Patrick Graham, David Clemons, Brian Arrington and Kristy Peters.

Graham, who previously had spent six years in Monroe, returned in August 2014 to purchase The Tribune and its related products from Southern. Although Graham has operated newspapers large and small during his 17-year career with Southern, this is the first time he has both owned and operated a newspaper. He purchased The Covington News in 2017.

The Tribune has a long-standing tradition of serving the community well. The newspaper has placed in the Georgia Press Association’s prestigious General Excellence category for eight of the last 10 years, including first-place finishes in 2011-13 and 2017-18.

In the first issue, readers were invited to visit.

“Come around, get acquainted with the editor, subscribe for the paper, chat and talk, warm your toes and make yourself at home,” the editor’s note read.

The same invitation is extended today.

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