Before 2011, I never gave a second thought to the importance of having a high-quality local newspaper. I’m thankful to my co-founders for educating me on the importance of hyper-local news to our community. I’m proud of the role that our paper plays in bringing important information to you on a weekly basis. A good local newspaper helps to galvanize a community. It brings us closer together by keeping us informed about important issues. It allows us to collectively celebrate exciting events and achievements, mourn the loss of those who have passed, encourage those who need help, promote business and innovation and assist in providing transparency and accountability for our community trusts (e.g. schools, non-profits, churches and local government).
While we were working on the launch of our paper in 2012, I had the opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. on a business trip. While I was there, I happened upon a museum dedicated to the history of news called the Newseum. I think of it as a memorial to the importance of a free press. I planned to stay for a short time, but I ended up spending the better part of the day. Absorbing the exhibits and historical documents inspired me. On September 25, 1690, the first newspaper published in America was “Publick Occurrences, Both Foreign and Domestick.” It was quickly shut down because it wasn’t approved by the British. Our newspaper isn’t nearly as important as Publick Occurrences, but it does contribute to the importance of continuing to flex the muscles of a free press lest they atrophy.
I also want to stress the importance of the journalistic integrity of our paper. The content of our paper is driven by our staff, not the owners. The owners provide suggestions and feedback, but do not make decisions on articles that are published or not published. Your trust in our paper demands such an approach.
I’m grateful to you, our readers and advertisers, for taking an interest in our community. Our goal from the very beginning was that we would bring you a high-quality paper for decades. I’m prayerful that bringing the paper under 100% local control will contribute to that vision.