Evolution of newspaper hasn't changed focus
Ed. Note: Oct. 6-12 is National Newspaper Week
Over the last 20 years, the newspaper industry has seen rapid changes.
Some for the good and some for the bad.
But, even with pushes towards digital, the focus of the newspaper has not changed.
That focus, which is also the focus of us here at The Daily Courier, is the community.
It's not about things abroad. It's not about trying to be everything to everyone.
It's about our corner of the world that matters.
It's about a Friday night high school football game, a community meeting, the doings of local elected officials and how decisions made affect us in Rutherford County.
Sure, newspapers struggle but so does every business in one form or fashion.
The key to success is the community.
While newspapers across the country push to provide their news across multiple platforms ranging from the Web to tablets and smart phones, the one consistency is the fact that successful newspapers focus on their community.
Now, we understand everyone has different tastes when it comes to their news.
Some prefer to know what is going on around the world while others are interested in the politics of Washington.
However, readership studies continue to show the overwhelming majority of people want to know what is going on in their backyard.
It's easy for us to generate page after page of wire content. But, it takes dedication to fill those same pages with news about your community.
It takes the effort and passion of an entire staff to find those stories and present them to readers on a daily basis.
The work isn't easy.
It is filled with stress. The stress of getting the story right above getting the story first. The stress of being fair and balanced. The stress of telling the good news with the bad.
In the end, a newspaper staff has to be dedicated to their profession and to the message of providing good, sound community news.
They have to be dedicated to the effort of standing up for citizens and holding officials accountable. It is not about being an enemy of government but more about being the champions of our community.
It is about making a difference.
It is about telling the stories, whether good or bad, that others won't.
In the end, the newspaper belongs to the community. It's not about an individual or an individual's views. It is about all of us.
That's the way it should always be.
By Matthew Clark, for the Editorial Board
The Daily Courier Editorial Board consists of community members Jerry Brewer, Kyle Bingham, Tom Padgett and Cliff Strassenburg as well as Editor Matthew Clark