I was honored to receive the business of the month award last month from the City of Kaufman and Kaufman Chamber of Commerce.
I accepted it on behalf of a long line of publishers, reporters, page designers, ad representatives, photographers and delivery folks who work a lot of strange hours to get you your newspaper every week, and the Shopping Guide, on top of that! The Herald has been published since 1886 – quite a track record!
Mayor Jeff Jordan pointed out that some cities the size of Kaufman no longer have newspapers, and he was glad that we’re here. So am I!
I was asked to say a few words. Yikes. I could have launched into a long speech about the state of American journalism, but decided this might not be the right time for that. Instead, I asked folks in the room to support their local newspapers, and if they don’t like ours, to subscribe to another.
Our media landscape is changing. Folks now longer announce their births and marriages in the newspaper, it’s on Facebook. That picture of your kid’s big fish is on Instragram.
I would like to remind people, however, that there is a permanence in newspapers that is missing from social media. You post it, then it gets buried under a whole lot of other posts.
Newspapers – well it’s there as long as someone keeps those papers, and we have decades’ worth here in our newsroom!
While the newspaper business is changing, I still think there is a need for newspapers. Bloggers in their pajamas sitting at their personal computers aren’t going to cover a city council meeting. A professional reporter will cover a city council meeting. Cities that no longer have newspapers lose that coverage and that accountability to the public. That’s a sad thing, in my opinion.
That being said, we’re still here and we’re darned proud of it. Every time I take a picture of a ribbon cutting or smiling school kid, I’m glad we’re here. When I have to cover something depressing, it’s sad, but I know it has to be done. It’s part of our job.
Here’s to 2020, and many more years for the Kaufman Herald.
Thanks for reading.