Charlie von Maur-Newcomb is reporter, editor, and publisher of an up-and-coming newspaper in Kelly, Wyoming. He worries about deadlines, print runs, and photo credits. Managing a publication is a lot—especially for an 11-year-old.
Ecclesiastes 9:10 says: “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might.” That give-it-all-you’ve-got attitude is evident in Charlie. Kelly Out Loud! was his brainchild from the beginning.
The paper—available in hard copy and digital—covers both local and world news. It discusses how China has “upped its game on lunar exploration,” features important obituaries, explores technology, and even includes Charlie’s own drone photos.
Parents Allison von Maur and Mark Newcomb say Charlie produces the paper with little help from them. “I edit for grammatical errors and . . . redundancies, but I do not edit his voice,” von Maur says. “It’s clearly the voice of an 11-year-old. Maybe not every 11-year-old, but an 11-year-old.”
Story ideas come from listening to radio news and other sources. Beyond that, “I think about who lives in Kelly and what they might be interested in,” Charlie says.
Charlie’s parents are proud of their son’s work ethic. “It is really exciting, as a parent, to see your child be self-motivated,” von Maur says. “It was solely his interest, and that is really a special thing, to see that inner drive coming forth.”
She admits Charlie “gets stressed when he doesn’t get his paper out on time.” The deadlines are set by Charlie himself, but “he’s very conscientious.”
The Kelly community and beyond have been cheerleading Charlie’s venture. Jackson Hole News & Guide photographer Ryan Dorgan has been especially supportive. “He really thinks it’s great that I’m interacting with this kind of stuff and that I’m sharing my thoughts about the world,” Charlie says.
Von Maur thinks timing has added to people’s enjoyment of Kelly Out Loud!
“Especially in this past year, when people have felt so isolated and disconnected from other people, I think it has given the people of the town of Kelly a positive feeling about community,” she says.
Charlie hasn’t yet settled on a future career path. His interests include skiing, singing, teaching, coaching, and filming. But he isn’t ruling journalism out.
He started his newspaper because he realized journalists “get to tell people important information about the world.” He says, “I thought that was really cool, and I wanted to do that.”