Serving our community
We are about to embark on an exciting time here at the 143year-old Covington News; our covnews.com Web site is about to become a marvelous and exciting daily partner of our newspaper. This change should take place by mid-October.
The news and advertising that we will be able to bring to our community will excite and energize you. Over the next few weeks we will be introducing our new baby.
Being excited about this change brought to mind the 40 plus years that I have been involved with community newspapers— first as a inserter and a mailroom clerk, then a circulation director, later an editor/publisher, then an owner and now I have the privilege of managing The Covington News
During those 40 years, I always looked at a newspaper as a living embodiment of the community it served. A community newspaper, I believe, has a heart — it laughs, it cries. At times it is filled with passion and sometimes it bleeds.
During that time I never thought of myself as anything but a shepherd of any newspaper I was ever privileged to serve. I have never believed that anyone could own a living breathing thing such as a newspaper.
Years ago, 42 to be exact, I was attending a circulation convention and I heard a speaker from Knight-Ridder newspapers, at that time one of the largest chains in the country, tell us that in 20 years there would be no newspapers— that the only means of communication would be the little black box, which we now know is cable television.
That little black box would contain millions of pages of newspaper news, because of that there would be no need for newspaper carriers or for the use of printing presses.
Fortunately for all of us, that speaker was wrong.
But a couple of his points were not too far off. In fact the larger papers like the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and the Atlanta Journal Constitution are struggling and loosing circulation at such an alarming rate that the day of the big metro newspaper is almost past. Hundreds of community newspapers are springing up to fill their own community needs.
I predict in the next ten years the AJC will become a community-only newspaper also, just covering the greater Atlanta area.
The reason for that is that the population has migrated to far flung communities over the last 40 years, and as the owners of the big metro dailies are finding out a newspaper truly can’t represent a multitude of communities effectively. Because of this their circulation numbers have steadily declined
The Morris family has owned and shepherded this newspaper since the ‘80s. I don’t know if their family will carry on the responsibility of shepherding the News for another quarter of a century or not, but I certainly hope so. If they don’t, whoever does will bring their own ideas and thoughts into running this community newspaper. Regardless, it will still live and will still be the heart of our community.
Its people will continue to live here and volunteer here and be a part of the everyday growth that will continue to happen in our rapidly growing community.
I still look forward to receiving one of the morning metro papers still distributed here even though most of the time I strongly disagree with its editorial policies.
I still pace when its late, I used to have to have it to perform my morning constitutional, but thankfully I have gotten over that.
I now skim through the metro paper in record time.
But when my News comes, I read every word and if I don’t have time then I finish the next day.
I realize that I’m preaching to the choir if you are reading this.
Dear reader, you have a magnificent responsibility, to make sure that we never lose our community newspaper; it truly is our community identity. Some politicians may scoff at that statement, but no matter what they say, they usually are the first to line up to get their picture in the local paper.
I would suggest to you as you as our community continues to grow, greet your new neighbors introduce them to your local newspaper. It also makes a great Christmas gift, for those families who live far away it keeps giving and giving all year long.
By the way, Knight-Ridder newspapers no longer exist as the mighty group they once were. I think maybe there executives are still looking for that magic black box.
Until next time.