WELCH, W.Va. – Melissa Nester, Publisher of The Welch News and The Independent Herald newspapers, was honored as a 2021 Wonder Woman by West Virginia Living Magazine alongside a host of 49 other impressive women from across the state.
The 50 honorees work every day to make West Virginia a better place to live, with Nester’s focus area being McDowell and Wyoming counties.
Known as the ‘Newspaperwoman,’ Nester traces her current work as publisher of two independent newspapers back to the beginning of her life, where parents Leonard and Edith “Mel” Nester taught her the importance of staying informed.
A 1984 graduate Northfork High School, Nester also worked as the Editor of the school newspaper, Demon Tales, under James “Duffy” Angove’s tutelage where she learned the impact stories could make. That same paper was printed at The Welch News, where she would later work in advertising until becoming Publisher.
Now responsible for 4 news publication every week, Nester has an unwavering dedication to the preservation of local news for small communities.
“It’s such a passion project of mine, working with small-town newspapers,” said Nester. “I knew when I bought The Welch News that this business wasn’t about making a lot of money— it was about giving this underserved community its own voice.”