weekly conversation with John Derby
By JOHN M. DERBY
May 3, 2018
As a three-time retirement failure, we
were concerned what would happen when we really turned the
keys of the newspaper company over to the employees.
It was a scary decision after 54 years
of publishing a group of newspapers which has served seven
communities in the valley.
That probably was why, on the other retirements,
we still felt we had to cover any mistakes.
This time, we understood that if people
are not allowed to make mistakes, then they will never learn.
We have made mistakes, too many to remember,
but many of them taught us how to do a better job.
This last season while we were in Mexico,
the team who produces our newspapers, did an amazing job,
and we are very proud of them. Did they make mistakes? Yes,
a few, but thus far, those were little in comparison to
the ones which we have made in 54 years.
The main thing is that the newspapers have
survived in excellent shape. We have maintained almost all
the advertising support from the community which we had,
and some new business accounts have been added.
The news content and photo coverage has
been excellent and balanced, as well as remaining positive.
We are seeing growth in all the communities
we serve. We see more people turning to more education to
address the problem of low wages in the valley. Housing
is bouncing back, and so are jobs.
So many activities are going on, it is
a strain on our staff to give them all coverage. We appreciate
all the help we have received in getting these stories and
pictures in the papers.
More people than ever are turning to us
to report on these activities, and we appreciate that and
do our very best to see that they get coverage.
Our group of newspapers suffer with the
low income which comes with the industry, but the employees
do not dwell on the low wages. They do their job, and leave
the complaining to someone else. They take pride in the
product they produce.
Just last week, we wrote to the staff,
that the issue of the newspaper was one of the best we had
ever seen, and we would match it with any other community
newspaper in the state or the county. We aren’t the
only one who feels that way because one member of our staff
received top honors in two categories in a recent statewide
Finally, we thank the communities and our
readers for your support. We do receive repeated emails
about the great work the staff is doing.
Coming from you, the readers, this is even
more important than coming from us. We can’t thank
you enough readers, for allowing us to serve you with a
quality community newspaper.