walsenburg– The Huerfano Journal newspaper has now been publishing for over 52 weeks, and has gotten a Second-Class mailing permit, thus fulfilling the requirements of a ‘legal’ newspaper, meaning we can now publish legal notices of any type. We can also now drink beer in the office. What-? I am told we cannot do that.
Anyway, we are very excited to have been in business here in Huerfano County for a year now. We have covered a lot of news, sat glassy-eyed through a few meetings, and met some amazing people; many of whom now work for us.
We are proud of what we have accomplished in the past year. Huerfano County was in dire need of a newspaper that covered ALL the communities, and reported as fairly and unbiasedly as possible. We felt the County needed a vocal supporter, who would point out the good things happening here, and the great people who have chosen to make this their home.
When we first started our newspaper, people would say things like, “Newspapers are dying. Why are you starting one up?” The answer to that is perhaps the giant national and regional newspapers are having to compete harder against the television and the internet, but small local newspapers are still thriving. According to surveys done by the National Newspaper Association, 86 percent of adults read a local community newspaper each week. John Stevenson, president of the NNA, said, “Readers and advertisers have not abandoned community newspapers that serve their communities well,that are involved in their communities. In towns and cities across the country, vibrant local newspapers continue to help strengthen their communities, and those communities in turn strengthen and support their local news source. They grow; together.”
Being the local newspaper is important to us; it is our raison d’etre. We are proud of how the people who work for our newspaper come from all over the county, from all walks of life and from all political points of view (the last few weeks of the presidential election were a bit touchy around the office…). What ties them all together is their keen intellect, their willingness to do what is required to get a job done, and their enthusiasm for Huerfano County.
We have written again and again on the importance of supporting our local businesses and schools. We started the Make Cents program, where we will donate five cents to the local school district of your choice for every Make Cents coupon returned to us. We’ll add em up and cut two checks in January. We have started compiling a “Localvore’s” directory of local businesses where you can shop and buy services locally.
We do find it amusing that being a ‘local newspaper’ is catching on, with one of our competitors also claiming to be local. That definition can only apply if ‘local’ includes the western United States. The new owner is a lawyer who lives in Los Angeles, and owns a chain of newspapers there.