OWENS

Cecil Whig - - LO­CAL -

Party sup­porter named Palmer Cham­ber­lain Rick­etts, few in those pre-Civil War era days prob­a­bly ever thought that his project would en­dure. In fact, nu­mer­ous other news­pa­pers had al­ready be­gun and failed in the decades be­fore Rick­etts pressed his first broad­sheet. But en­dure it has. Twenty-five years ago, my col­leagues took time to re­flect

upon the mo­men­tous oc­ca­sion of surviving 150 years in the print­ing busi­ness.

It surely was a time to cel­e­brate, as the pa­per suc­ceeded af­ter nu­mer­ous wars do­mes­tic and abroad, the Great De­pres­sion and re­ces­sions too nu­mer­ous to count, fires that de­stroyed our print­ing fa­cil­i­ties and even a mur­der trial that at­tempted to stop our tena­cious founder. But de­spite all of those ad­ver­si­ties, the Whig has per­se­vered.

And on Aug. 7, 2016, we will have even more of a rea­son to cel­e­brate our lat­est mile­stone,

as we have survived yet more chal­lenges.

Per­haps none have been as dif­fi­cult to deal with as the ad­vent of the in­ter­net and the public’s in­creas­ing abil­ity to find in­for­ma­tion in­de­pen­dent of their lo­cal news­pa­per. At a time when jour­nal­ists and prin­ters were just mod­ern­iz­ing enough to use com­put­ers and dig­i­tal cam­eras in their daily work, the world wide web opened up a Pan­dora’s box of op­por­tu­nity.

As the Whig has time and again, though, we an­a­lyzed the chang­ing mar­ket and

adapted to give read­ers what they want in the 21st cen­tury. The re­sult?

We are by far the mostread web­site re­lated to Ce­cil County and rou­tinely ex­ceed 1 mil­lion pageviews a month by more than 150,000 read­ers a year. For a county of about 100,000 peo­ple, we think that’s pretty good.

Mean­while, we con­tinue to reach the doorsteps of more than 10,000 read­ers with three printed edi­tions a week. While our op­er­a­tion has con­sol­i­dated in to­day’s mod­ern work­place, our ded­i­cated staff

of nine jour­nal­ists still attend your town meet­ings, fundrais­ers, Lit­tle League games and so much more. Tech­nol­ogy also al­lows us to up­date sto­ries in real-time and keep read­ers bet­ter con­nected with break­ing news avail­able at their fin­ger­tips.

Dozens of other pub­li­ca­tions in Ce­cil County’s his­tory books have been un­able to with­stand the test of time like the Whig. But why?

In 1991, pub­lisher Tom Bradlee wrote that the Whig “is not just a news­pa­per, but we are an on­go­ing his­tory book, a ledger for county af­fairs, a plat­form for public opin­ion, a watch­dog of gov­ern­ment, and most of all, we are the pic­tures and sto­ries in your fam­ily scrap­books.”

I think Tom summed it up fairly well, but I might go even a bit sim­pler.

The Whig is not a place or a prod­uct; it is a group of de­ter­mined in­di­vid­u­als, a com­mu­nity, and the sto­ries they tell.

It al­ways has and it al­ways will be. Sin­cerely, Ja­cob Owens, Man­ag­ing Edi­tor

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