We are your newspaper
I just want to say a few words today to thank our readers for being a part of who we are and what we do. Without you, there isn’t much of a reason for us to be here, and I am stoked that you give us that reason every day. The community we cover is far reaching, everywhere from Avery to Redwater and all points in between, and that sometimes becomes a daunting task.
Along that vein, I would like to share with you the words of fellow publisher Shawn Larson. Shawn is brand new to our family of sister newspapers in Northeast Texas, being just named the publisher over in Atlanta. He shared with his readers today a very important message, and I would like to share that message with you. It is a message that rings true for every community newspaper, and I ask you to take it to heart, and join with us to make your newspaper even better.
Shawn wrote, “Personally, even though I have the responsibility of covering the negative things in the community (which I will cover), I would much rather focus on the positive things we have going. Church life, what’s happening in our schools, the events put on by the Rotary Club, Lions Club, and other civic organizations, the fun candid shots of kids and people in the community…that’s what I prefer to cover in the newspaper. Being new to the area, I haven’t had a lot of time to find out how things were done previously, but I can tell you, I want to see the newspaper expanded and filled with local news. For this very reason, I need your help. I would love to know what is happening in the area. Let’s print when a baby is born or when a special event is happening. Please send your own contributions of pictures and articles, since I can’t get to everything personally. With newspaper limitation, I can only get a sample of things in the paper. I will however do my best to get your information out, whether in our newspaper or on some form of other news media we manage. I must hear from you to get the information out for the best coverage of the event. As a newspaper guy, I am not scared of the internet. It was supposedly said of Mark Twain that the “The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” I can say the same: “The rumors of death of the local newspaper are greatly exaggerated.” The local newspaper can offer so much to a community and I have met a number of people who said that when they lost their newspaper, the town wasn’t far behind. You should know I am a web designer and internet marketing guy by trade. I love what the internet offers and plan on using social media and the web to offer time-sensitive news and information that can’t wait for the newspaper distribution. I will also utilize it for a variety of other opportunities to enhance what we are already doing in the newspaper. I believe the local newspaper has a special place in our community. SnapChat, Facebook and Twitter are a kind of personal and at times temporary, form of communication, which is limited to the success of the platform. The small town newspaper continues to lives on through the platform changes. Think about it; does anyone have a Myspace account anymore? For that reason, when you post something special to Facebook or some other form of social media send it to us also, if nothing else for archiving it as a historical event. It is sad but true, the larger newspapers are dying. That is probably due in part to the fact that we can get our news faster now. That death first probably came with the TV, then cable, and now the final nail in the proverbial coffin, the internet. The local newspapers continue to thrive, however, because we are more than just a place to get current events. We are a place that records those SPECIAL local events forever; a place where OUR community events are covered. The local newspaper should still be counted on as a place where we learn more about the people in our community; especially those doing something distinct through featured stories. It should also be a place where we experience what is happening with our kids: playing sports, participating in theater, band, debate, or winning the local spelling bee. Every age, gender, and ethnicity should be represented in our paper. I love to see a VARIETY of events covered. I also look forward to looking back to cover the rich history of our town. The newspaper pages should increase to cover the diverse happenings and the advertising should follow to support it. Lastly, the newspaper should be a fair, trustworthy source to find news. We hear the term “fake news” thrown around a lot. It is hard to know who to trust, especially with the internet where people can say whatever they want with virtually no accountability. Your local hometown newspaper should be something you can trust. I want to say thank you to everyone who has taken the time to stop by and visit and sent me emails. I believe if we partner together in the community, in the communication, participation, and support through advertising, together we will have an exceptional newspaper.”
Again, thank you for being a part of the Tribune family, and as Shawn said, with your help we can make your paper even better, filled with more pictures of your kids, the good stuff in our community, and news that you can trust to be true, fair and accurate. Have a great week.