As 2019 draws to a close, we are motivated to learn how we might serve the community better in the new year ahead. How can we as the local newspaper do a better job of connecting with our readers – providing them with the kind of information they need and want to be more productive citizens. Likewise, we want to make sure that our advertisers are getting the kind of service they require to market their goods to those same readers.
To improve at anything requires feedback. Toward that end we ask for your thoughts on how we improve. Are their specific things that you feel are missing from the paper? Or are we publishing items that you feel don’t belong? Are our satories too long? Too short? Do we need more recipes? More sports news? More news from surrounding communities? More society news? Better photographs?
How about delivery? Are you able to receive or purchase our paper in a timely fashion? What about our online E-edition? We have been through some changes with that platform and not all of them have gone as smoothly as we would have liked.
And speaking of digital news, we know that young people turn almost exclusively to electronic devices for their news. How do we capture their attention? They are the citizens of the future, and we firmly believe that it takes an informed citizenry to maintain a caring and viable community.
That is the supreme challenge faced by newspapers: How do we remain relevant to people who seem not to have enough time or interest in keeping up with the civic affairs of their community? It is the primary reason that a “news desert” is spreading across the nation. In the last 15 years, 1,294 newspapers closed or merged and one-third of those or 516 were in rural markets. About 7,000 weekly and daily papers remain in print. The Kingsville Record, a 113-year-old newspaper serving the city of Kingsville, was scheduled to cease publication on Dec. 5. Owned by King Ranch, Inc. since 1953, owners had determined that the paper could not be sustained. A last minute transfer of ownership to the Kingsville Industrial Development Foundation is credited with saving the newspaper.
We struggle to fathom how any community of reasonable size, especially a city of 25,000 like Kingsville, can operate without a local newspaper. Not solely because the Leader-News has fulfilled that role for almost 140 years, but because newspapers help to bind a community together. They serve as veritable coffee shop, a place where citizens can learn how city council members voted on a zoning request, how much rain fell in the latest storm or the name of a friend who has died or another who has given birth.
The newspaper is a medium like no other – and least of all social media – where news is actually vetted and then carefully reported.
We hope you agree that newspapers – and this newspaper in particular – belong in the communities they serve. Please help us make that belonging more important to you in the year ahead.