This week is National Newspaper Week, which translates to a time for newspapers to do a bit of bragging about what they do within their communities.
We haven’t been publishing papers in Newton long enough to have earned the right to brag on ourselves.
However, we’ve been in the community journalism business long enough to provide a bit of insight.
Today, if someone wanted to inform themselves about Newton purely using Facebook they could. If they wanted to use television news, they could at least learn of the large crimes that go on and occasionally catch a small piece about a community member or sports.
And if they wanted to educate themselves purely by word of mouth or attending all government meetings, they could do that.
So with an age where so much information is readily available, we have to think about how we create a product that people will actually pay for.
We have no magic formula. For us it comes down to quality and convenience.
Basically, we want Newton Now to be the best tool available for our readers to connect to the city they live in.
We like to use the phrase ?value added? here in the office.
It means that every article we put in the paper or online should provide value to our readers.
Highlighting upcoming events and participants adds value.
Covering those events and providing information on local happenings and sports adds value.
Shining a light on your neighbors and friends, highlighting specific important issues in the community, that information adds value.
Reporting clear and accurate information about government meetings adds value adds as does good writing, good layout, and good photography.
And people will pay for this value.
They will pay for articles better researched than a Facebook rant. They will pay for more in-depth local coverage. They will pay to read quality government coverage and well-thought-out columns or editorials.
At least that’s what we’ve experienced so far, because we’re doing even better than we had hoped since we launched.
Whatever your reason for paying for the paper or advertising, we’re glad you find value in our product, and we thank you for that.
When you support the paper, we believe you’re doing something else: investing in the community. The more informed a group of people is, the more likely they are to care about their neighbors, their governing bodies and the issues that affect their day-to-day lives. In doing so, they make connections and bonds, and move forward in a common goal.
And while we haven’t been around very long, we already see it happening. And that’s one amazing goal to get to work to accomplish everyday. So, as usual, supporters keep up the good work and continue to make Newton a better place.
Adam Strunk is the managing editor of Newton Now. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.