In the midst of a career spent highlighting life in rural Wisconsin, Diane Everson once said: “I may be from a small community, but I am certainly not small-time.”
The publisher of The Edgerton Reporter was inducted into the Wisconsin Newspaper Hall of Fame March 1, 2013 during the Wisconsin Newspaper Association (WNA) annual convention in Madison.
“Diane Everson has proven herself on local, state, and national scenes – serving her profession with verve and inspiring peers, staff, and her community to meet challenges and look to the future,” said WNA Foundation President Genia Lovett, publisher of The Post-Crescent, Appleton. “Her induction to the Wisconsin Newspaper Hall of Fame is well-deserved.”
Diane’s parents, Helen and Harlan, bought The Edgerton Reporter in 1951. She has been part of the newspaper’s heartbeat since 1978, after graduating from Carroll College with a degree in social work, becoming co-publisher of the weekly upon her father’s death in 1992.
Diane’s civic involvement doesn’t stop at the Edgerton city limits. An active WNA member, Diane advocates for newspaper interests at the State Capitol and is on first-name terms with governors and legislators. Diane is an enthusiastic arts patron and advocate for public education.
“As an editor and publisher in a small town, Diane Everson is courageous in tackling tough, sensitive issues while insisting on fairness to all in news coverage,” said WNA Executive Director Beth Bennett. “Ensuring open meetings and records in a community environment is difficult, but her readers know her steadfast dedication to those principles.”
In 2006, she established the Annual Edgerton Book and Film Festival, which she now leads, coordinates and promotes. The event attracts world-famous authors and screenwriters and draws thousands of tourists to the area. She promotes Edgerton’s Tobacco Days celebration, an event her mother helped create and is a board member of Edgerton’s Wartmann Endowment for the Performing Arts.
Diane is a past president of the National Newspaper Association (NNA), and has served on national boards for Inland Press Association and the First Amendment Congress. She was 1994 Wisconsin Women’s Entrepreneur of the Year, and was awarded the prestigious NNA Emma C. McKinney Award in 2006.