Some newspapers are their own worst enemies.
It’s no secret that many newspapers have been struggling to stay afloat in recent years, even well before this global-wide pandemic threw a monkey wrench into the business models of many. Most of them are daily newspapers or those that come out multiple times during a week.
This is a weekly newspaper, and I am happy to report we are not on life support. Why?
Well, in my view, that’s an easy question to answer. We have always stayed connected to the people we are serving. We enjoy telling the stories that impact our readers. And it lies within having a staff that understands local journalism and how it’s so relevant to people’s lives that most view it as an essential item for them to buy.
In the real estate world, the phrase “location, location, location” is often coined with selling or purchasing a house. In our journalism world, the phrase “local, local, local” cannot be stated enough.
We are not a newspaper run by a huge corporation and big chain. We are one of 8,600 local newspapers covering the homecomings, school board meetings, football games and community celebrations of small-town America. In our case, we have four primary communities to cover: Blooming Prairie, Owatonna, Medford and Ellendale. They’re all part of a lovely larger community we affectionately refer to as Steele County.
I always like to remind people that we offer a niche that nobody else has. We provide local news in a way that most often doesn’t appear anywhere else. Who else is going to provide an in-depth look at Dan Peach’s pumpkin corner on Blooming Prairie’s Main Street, Ellendale’s mural being up for debate or better yet Shavon Hodge’s grandbaby taking her first step at the Steele County Free Fair? I can answer, but I think you’re all smart enough to figure it out.
The Steele County Times has been blessed in the past year. We have added hundreds of new subscribers who recognize the importance of having local news. They are craving to know what’s happening in their local communities. They want to be connected. And what better resource is there to help them connect than the local newspaper.
Next week as we celebrate National Newspaper Week, I hope you’ll remember us and our unique relevance to the communities we serve. We are local and damn proud of it. Remember us as being “Always Local. All the Time.”
A week doesn’t go by without hearing from one of our readers about why they enjoy our publication and how they are excited about the local coverage we provide. We may have a small news crew, but we try to cover as many events and activities as we can in every community.
As I begin my 13th year of publishing the Times, I think I have a pretty good handle on what people want. But I still welcome a little nudge here and there about anything we may be lacking. Perfection is a great thing, but I also recognize it’s something anyone rarely, if ever, achieves. So don’t be afraid to let us know what we can do better to provide you with the local news.
My commitment to you is to go in hot pursuit of being “local, local, local.”