Newspaper Day Is Time To Reflect On Why We Keep
The Press Rolling
October 13, 2016
Oct. 18, will be our 53rd year of publication, and just
by chance, the entire nation celebrated one day this past
week as National Newspaper Day.
Why would anyone want to take 53 years of their life to
deliver a community newspaper?
Does anyone out there bother to read the words printed each
week, or is it a waste of time and effort?
An article in the California Newspaper Publishers Association
magazine said that daily newspapers have seen a continuous
dropoff in readership, but we have found just the opposite.
The demand for our paper actually has increased, and nationally
we have heard that other community newspapers are showing
good signs of growth.
What does this say to us? People want to know more about
what is going on in the community they live in, and not
so much about world and national news — especially
when it is so negative.
Warren Buffet actually has been purchasing strong community
newspapers because he feels they are a good investment.
In our case, profit-making is not our purpose for staying
in a business which we love. We continue to publish newspapers
because of the people we write about.
Today, we write less than we have ever written because it
is harder to get around to all the events which are taking
place in our community, however, we continue to write the
editorials which we have been solely responsible for since
we started in 1964.
A letter to the editor published in the Merced Sun Star
asked who wrote their editorials, and why bylines were not
included. The Sun Star replied that the editorials were
the result of their Editorial Board, but some of those editorials
are clearly written in Sacramento.
Writing local editorials is difficult, and something a journalist
has to grow into it. While there is no editorial board on
our newspaper, the topics are often discussed with the editorial
staff, and in some rare cases, rejected as being too volatile.
We don’t want to make people mad, however, we do want
to urge them to action. We have also tried to maintain the
mission of our newspapers, and that is “The Power
of Positive Press.”
Fifty three years ago, we told our co-workers we felt what
this country really needed was a more positive press. We
are dedicated to providing a newspaper that builds up the
community and doesn’t tear it down.
We understand there are issues which need change and we
never want to avoid them, however, we also never want to
be guilty of using the front page of our newspaper to hang
a person without a trial.
There is nothing better than having pictures community members
to build readership and for that reason our pages are full
of local people.
We also welcome contributions from other writers , and want
to publish their letters to the editor as well as stories.
While we do publish and write for the newspaper, we never
feel that it is ours. This newspaper belongs to the community
and its people.
“Why don’t you sell it and retire?” we
have been asked … and at our age it is a good question.
Our answer, “Because it doesn’t belong to us
… It belongs to you, our readers.”
HAPPY NEWSPAPER DAY!