Top 100 Women of Impact: Eliza Hussman Gaines

Eliza Hussman Gaines

Publisher, WEHCO Media Inc., Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

About me: I’m the fourth generation of my family to be in the newspaper industry. Our company publishes newspapers in Arkansas, Missouri and Tennessee, operates cable and internet systems and has a digital marketing service across several states.

I graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a degree in English and then returned to UNC to get my master’s in mass communication with a focus on business and media. Before becoming publisher, I spent 10 years working in newsroom leadership roles. 

I was recently installed as the president of the Arkansas Press Association and am on the boards of the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media Foundation, the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association Foundation, America’s Newspapers, the CHI St. Vincent Foundation and the Gladney Center for Adoption. 

I’m married to Alec and we have four children.

Lives/Works in: Little Rock

Lesson Learned the Hard Way: “We’ve always done it this way” is not a valid excuse to keep doing something. We should continually be questioning, experimenting, adapting and improving.

Call to Action: I wish more people knew how crucial newspapers are to a community’s civic health. Research shows cities without a newspaper have more crime, higher taxes and less government transparency. The type of journalism newspapers produce is for the public good, including those who don’t pay for it. To continue our role as the state’s watchdog, we need the next generation’s investment and support.

What Keeps Me Motivated: For Arkansas to thrive, there has to be a well-informed citizenry. We investigate our state’s problems, hold public officials accountable and deliver stories not being told elsewhere. We also highlight what binds us together as Arkansans: our state’s successes, its unique culture and natural beauty, and, of course, the Razorbacks.

A Women’s Foundation of Arkansas Initiative

Related Articles