Thursday, October 6, 2011
Newspapers still kicking
I still remember how excited I was to see my first story in print with my byline.
It was in my high school newspaper, The Aggie Bark.
After that, my love for newspapers grew and grew. And my writing was encouraged by a couple of fantastic high school teachers.
Ink was suddenly in my blood. And about 35 years later, it’s still flowing.
October 2-8 is National Newspaper Week, and this year’s theme is “Newspapers – Your Number One Source for Local News.”
Some folks in the national media have been writing the obituaries for newspapers.
It’s not the first time that newspapers have reportedly been dying. It won’t be the last.
But truth is, 150 million Americans, two out of three adults, read a community newspaper last week.
Newspapers, like other businesses, are having some tough times in this not-so-good economy. But we’re surviving. We’re not on death watch yet.
More than 7,000 weekly newspapers, like this one, and 1,400 daily newspapers still open their doors every day in America.
Community newspapers are doing what they do the best – covering the news that matters to the people of their communities.
Plus, because of our close relationship with our community, our readers send us their news, too – from accomplishments in the classroom, to birth announcements, to club meetings and so on.
When people want their advertising message to reach the masses, they turn to their local newspaper. That’s where they get results.
And the folks at the weekly newspaper are a part of the community where they work, too. Our news sources, our advertisers, our readers – they’re our friends and neighbors.
We go to church with them and we’re in the Rotary Club with them. We talk to them at the grocery store or the ball game.
We’re all in this common cause together – promoting and bettering our community.
After more than 10 years at The South Reporter, I can truthfully say that the people of this community love their newspaper. And for that, your newspaper staff is most thankful. We ask for your continued help and support.
It’s refreshing each week when traffic gets jammed up in the street out front as readers stop by to get the newspapers “hot off the press.” They just can’t wait for that week’s edition.
And then later in the day, a businessman will typically call and say, “Our rack is empty.”
“We will be there shortly with more,” I say.
And then I might get a call like last week – “I really like that story you wrote.”
And someone walks in to renew their ad, saying, “I got tons of calls.”
I landed my first Mississippi newspaper job in 1986, moving over from Alabama. It was at The Itawamba County Times. The newspaper’s slogan is “The Only Newspaper In The World That Cares Anything About Itawamba County.”
It was there I learned about what it takes to publish a successful community newspaper and how important it is to be involved in the community where you live.
I will admit, I occasionally get stressed out due to the long hours and other pressures of the job, but I can’t imagine doing anything else.
It’s in my blood.
News: (662) 252-4261 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Fax: (662) 252-3388
Questions, comments, corrections: email@example.com
The South Reporter
P.O. Box 278
Holly Springs, MS 38635
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