Our love for newspapers

Jul. 27, 2013 @ 05:01 AM

One of my best memories of my dad is with a newspaper in his hands.

My father loved his newspaper. And, God bless him, he wanted to read it on a broadsheet strewn across the kitchen table, with a cup of coffee steaming nearby.

Because of him, I grew up reading newspapers. From the time I was old enough to spread the then-behemoth pages out in front of me I absorbed every sentence in the collection of eight publications brought into our home. Plus, I’d read the Farm Journal, the Wallace Farmer, Farm Wife News and something called The Wall Street Journal - the newspaper my father would bring home from the “Windy City” of Chicago after we shipped our cattle to the livestock yards.

Newspaper people, I believed, were bigger and brighter than anyone. While most of the girls in my high school class wanted to be nurses or teachers, I wanted to be more like Erma Bombeck or Katharine Graham. I wasn’t cut out to be the nurse or the teacher. I haven’t the temperament nor bedside manner for it.

I knew, from the time I was in fifth grade, I wanted to be a newspaper person. It was that visit to the daily newspaper, seeing the old AP wire machine ticking away in the news room and the presses rolling that piqued my interest. Plus I just loved the smell of ink on fresh newsprint. Not having a printing press here, at times I wish I would have bottled that smell and brought it with me. 

Like my many of my employees, we knew early on we wanted to work at a newspaper. Others joined our newspaper staff because they were intrigued by the newspaper’s mystique or because they wanted to be part of business that was ever-changing.

In many ways, my dream came true. I have been enjoying a great career, which included stints at several newspapers, in four different states. At each of those locations, I’ve made many life-long friends.

For those of you who haven’t been in this office, it is the quintessential small town newspaper of yore, minus the now politically incorrect tobacco smoke hanging over the newsroom. There are stacks of newspapers, a collection of really quirky, funny folks who choose to yell instead of using intercoms at times and have a refrigerator sometime full containers containing unidentifiable objects. There are computers that have been here way too long. The one I am composing this on, is far older than my dog.  But what the heck, we manage here at The Daily Courier and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

It is comforting to be here. Newspapers, as you know, have changed a lot. But the people who work at The Daily Courier are great employees who work diligently to get the news and advertising into your hands every morning. They’re good people.

Every day, they gather the facts and figures, record the deaths and births, snap photos of your children and grandchildren, and report the victories and losses of county sporting events. They do this with a tireless sense of humor.

Folks at the front desk listen to the complaints ranging from undelivered newspapers to letters to the editor that didn’t make it into the newspaper. Every day they greet visitors who come in the office daily to pick up their newspaper rather than purchasing from the news rack located outside our office.

Our advertising folks search for revenue in trying economic times and working under constant deadlines.

As with all newspapers, the community gets frustrated with us from time to time. And that’s OK. Every community thinks it owns the newspaper and in many ways it does. They love to hate their newspapers, expecting them to be accurate, delivered on time and full of wonderful information they can use. 

A part of my heart aches when I hear a newspaper has to close its doors or drop publication dates because of economic times. It’s happening in our country more and more because there are some readers who would rather rely on the gospel of social media and hearsay than a trusted source, like newspapers. There are times when we may not have the story in the paper the very next day, but we will get the story and publish more than just a few sound bites or 20 words.

As I look around The Daily Courier office at the people who work here, they are newspaper people who love what they do. 

And so, whenever you think there’s nothing in your community newspaper anymore, know this: everyone who works here at The Daily Courier...their hearts are in it.

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Here’s an interesting sidebar: The August issue of Our State magazine will contain a feature on Rutherfordton, our county seat.

The issue will hit newstands soon. We’re looking forward to see what Rutherfordton native-turned author Susan Kelly has to reveal about growing up in Rutherfordton. Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy....it should be exciting!

 

Wanda Moeller is the Publisher of The Daily Courier. She can be reached at wmoeller@thedigitalcourier.com