Bringing you the news
This year marks the 76th anniversary of National Newspaper Week, being celebrated in newsrooms throughout the country Oct. 2-8 with the theme “Way to Know.” The Cecil Whig is proud to participate as the newspaper of record for residents here for the last 175 years.
The Whig was founded on Aug. 7, 1841, by Palmer Chamberlain Ricketts to circulate the Whig political party beliefs, publishing weekly from Rickett’s log cabin near the intersection of Main and Bow streets in Elkton. Over the decades, more than a dozen people have overseen the Whig’s direction, each leaving their mark on a newspaper that increased in readership and influence. Today, the Whig is part of APG Media of Chesapeake, with sister publications that include the The Star Democrat, the Kent County News and the Newark Post.
We at the Whig and APG Media of Chesapeake take pride in our work. We believe that local newspapers provide an important service through the conveyance of information regarding issues both large and small. Reporting on trap-neuter-release efforts or agricultural zoning or school rain gardens may not be glamorous, but it matters to the communities which are affected by such issues.
We strive to do more than report on government activity. We want to tell your stories. We want to feature unsung local heroes, explore community issues, highlight our young athletes and document what life is like here in Cecil County.
The newspaper industry has changed dramatically, but it is not on life support as some would have you believe. For National Newspaper Week, David Chavern, president of the News Media Alliance, penned an op-ed titled “Debunking the newspapers are dying myth.” Chavern wrote that there is a greater demand for news than ever before. He wrote that while the word “newspaper” is not reflective of the industry it denotes, it does not mean such media outlets have been relegated to the dustbin.
“Name an industry — cars, airlines, energy, retail, accounting, transportation, construction — and the underlying economic drivers look a lot different than they did in the 1980s. That doesn’t mean they are ‘dead’ businesses,” Chavern wrote. “We need to focus on new ways to address the needs of audience. Legacy newspapers are considered trusted sources of information; we must continue to keep that trust as we experiment in the digital age.”
That experimentation has made the Whig and its sister publications stronger. We upgraded our technology and launched new websites. While we publish a print edition three times a week, we keep our website updated daily. We’ve added a social media presence where readers can interact with the news and make suggestions for our coverage. We added videos and created expanded photo galleries featuring our thousands of readers.
Gene Policinski, chief operating officer of the Newseum Institute, penned a National Newspaper Week op-ed titled “Power of the press is in being the Way to Know for news consumers.” He wrote about the importance of maintaining credibility in the digital age, ensuring reporters maintain seats “where daily decisions are made and social issues discussed — from City Hall to church pews.”
“Newsprint may not be the medium-of-choice today for many readers, and perhaps certainly not the one for the desired next generation of readers. But the news organizations behind what certainly will be a blend of printed and electronic pages must be again the mediumsof-choice for that group, whether they be thought-leaders in society, officeholders in government or voters,” Policinski wrote.
Despite all the changes in the industry in recent years, we continue to be your newspaper. We are based in Cecil County. We write about Cecil County. Most importantly, everyone here at the newspaper cares about Cecil County and its residents. It is why we do what we do.