Thursday, January 3, 2008
This week, with our first newspaper in year 2008, we change the volume number on the front page.
It rises to 143.
That means your weekly newspaper enters its 143rd year of publication.
It began in 1865.
That’s impressive. And it’s something for all of us to brag about – not just the folks who produce your newspaper on a weekly basis but you, too, our readers and advertisers. We couldn’t do it without you. This is the community’s newspaper.
And while the process for getting out a weekly newspaper has changed greatly in the past 143 years, its focus remains the same – local, local, local.
The Itawamba County Times in Fulton is known as “The Only Newspaper In The World That Cares Anything About Itawamba County.”
If the folks at the community newspaper are doing their jobs and doing them right, that should ring true in any county anywhere.
I can guarantee you, as publisher of your South Reporter, that our focus is on our entire community and all of its people. A good newspaper should reflect its community and it should be an avid booster of its community.
And we’re doing that here with loads of experience – another thing that makes us proud, and hopefully, you, too.
Your South Reporter staff members have approximately 172 years combined experience in the newspaper business – with about 121 years of that coming at The South Reporter.
That, too, is impressive.
You likely won’t find that at too many newspapers of our size.
Just this week a kind gentleman walked to the front counter to renew his subscription for another year.
“I love your paper,” he said.
He also said he occasionally runs classified ads in The South Reporter and gets immediate response.
Of course, those are the kind of words we love to hear.
Another lady came in shortly thereafter to renew a subscription for her mother. Her mom, a long-time subscriber, had thought we were going up on the price.
“Not yet,” I replied.
Actually, there’s been no increase in subscription rates since 2002 – six years – yet we’ve been hit with numerous increases ourself by the U.S. Postal Service.
To have the newspaper delivered to your home, it’s still $20 a year in-county; $25 out-of-county. We also have a senior citizen rate – $18 in-county and $22.50 out-of-county. What a bargain!
You can also buy it for 50 cents from stores and other outlets across Marshall and Benton counties or put just two quarters in one of our newspaper racks.
“There’s something in there for everyone,” said sports editor Claude Vinson, talking about what he hears from readers as he covers ball games and also runs a newspaper delivery route each week.
Vinson has worked for The South Reporter for 14 years.
“It’s consistently good coverage week to week,” Vinson said. “Our name (The South Reporter) is recognized statewide.”
Yours truly and Barbara Taylor are the senior citizens of newspaper work – both getting our starts back about 1979 – but Barbara gets the prize, because she’s spent all 28 of those years right here at The South Reporter.
We talked a lot at our recent holiday get-together about family. We’re a family here at The South Reporter, and it’s that family atmosphere that makes what we do not just a job, but loads of fun. And it’s you who makes our job rewarding.
Another note – our other product, the Pigeon Roost News, enters its 27th year. It started in 1982.
The combined circulation of the two is strong – 5,200 for The South Reporter and 8,500 for the Pigeon Roost News. That’s 13,700 newspapers or 34,250 readers (average 2.5 per household).
We’re thankful for each of you.
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