By Cecilia Cress and Olivia Montes
Local Chestertown newspaper, Kent County News, recently saw a change in senior staff as Washington College alumna Trish McGee ’81 rose from the position of associate editor to editor of the publication.
McGee is a longtime native of the Chestertown area, as she moved to Chestertown from Baltimore at the age of eight, and lived just two blocks from the WC campus. She graduated fourth in her class from WC in 1981 and holds a bachelor’s in history.
“I was very studious and spent most of my time in the library…I took a lot of philosophy and political science classes, in addition to history, and loved all my professors,” McGee said. “Back in those days, most professors lived in Kent County, so it was not unusual to run into them outside of class. It felt like more of a community then.”
McGee is a fourth-generation journalist of her family in Chestertown. Her grandfather started The Enterprise in the 1890s, which eventually became the Kent County News. She has been working at KCN for 37 years.
McGee’s goal in her position as editor at the publication is the same as it has always been: to continue generating quality news on a weekly basis for the wider Kent County community.
“We are a tiny staff now, so being the editor is not as glamorous as one might think. My aim is to continue to put out a good local small-town paper, which is getting more and more difficult. There are so many ways to get news today that print journalism is in jeopardy — especially small papers,” McGee said.
Alumna and Kent County News Lifestyle Editor and Reporter MacKenzie Brady ’21 said she has known Trish since graduating from WC and beginning working at KCN.
“The first time I really remember meeting Trish…was at my graduation. I had just walked across the stage to get my diploma,” Brady said. “When I came down the stairs she was standing there with her camera, said hi, congratulated me, and gave me an elbow-five. I really appreciated that she took the time to acknowledge me then, but that’s just the kind of person she is.”
Brady said she believes McGee is a qualified and knowledgeable editor, and an asset to KCN.
“It seems to me that Trish is, first and foremost, concerned with putting out the best paper possible, and I genuinely think that happens each week. She has a great attention for detail and is concerned with putting out a great-quality paper with information relevant to our readers,” Brady said. “She has a wealth of knowledge and I’m constantly learning from her.”
McGee is very passionate about journalism, working for KCN, and continuing to inform readers across the area of important news in Kent County.
“Journalism is a tough business — long hours and not a lot of pay. If you are not committed to the art of gathering news — real news, not fluff — and presenting it in an objective, understandable manner, then I would suggest pursuing another career,” McGee said. “For those who stick with it, however, there are lots of rewards on lots of levels. There is nothing more important or powerful than telling people’s stories. Good journalists change the world.”