It has been my extraordinary privilege over the past year to report for the Rappahannock News and to meet so many of the remarkable individuals who call this beautiful place home. With a heart full of gratitude for the Rappahannock community and our dedicated readers, I will be leaving the News and the county at the end of July.
I have every confidence that the paper will be in good hands with Ben Peters, who, I’m pleased to announce, will begin as editor of the Rappahannock News on Aug. 1. Ben is a graduate of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University and the former associate editor of the Athens News in Athens, Ohio.
During his tenure at the Athens News, Ben covered the largest public corruption case in Ohio state history after the FBI revealed a coordinated bribery scheme in the state legislature that ultimately led to the arrest of Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder.
He also uncovered numerous scandals at Ohio University, including allegations of sexual assault leveled against a faculty member and a $100,000 bonus paid to the chief financial officer even as hundreds of university employees were laid off from their jobs to avoid a budget crisis.
All of this Ben accomplished with alacrity and stick-to-itiveness, undeterred by a lifelong hearing impairment. “As a journalist, I crave listening to people’s stories, learning of their unique circumstances and understanding the nuances of public and private affairs,” Ben wrote. “It’s ironic because I often struggle simply to hear the noises projected from a person’s mouth. I’ve been almost entirely deaf in the left ear since birth — a disability that’s paradoxically proven to only empower me as a better listener and therefore a stronger reporter able to leverage relationships with sources through genuine conversation to obtain scoops.”
Ben’s exceptional reporting has received awards from the Ohio News Media Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. I have no doubt that Ben will serve the Rappahannock community well.