Local papers and news websites: the ‘glue that holds a community together’
BY BILL SHUMWAY
North Country This Week
Local newspapers and news websites are so much more than just news and ads.
In fact, community papers are often “the glue that holds a community together.”We help connect citizens, promote the area, address serious community issues and encourage people to “shop local.”
Many local newspaper benefits are “hard to measure” and often forgotten by those who believe “the future is digital” as many papers nationwide and locally are closing.
Our staff recently brainstormed ways North Country This Week and NorthCountryNow.com contribute to the communities we serve throughout St. Lawrence County.
Here’s what we came up with:
Important Local News
• Essential News For Citizens. Our six-person news staff regularly covers village, city, town and county board meetings, providing news about local government, taxes, zoning and other important issues.
• Accurate, Evenhanded Info. Our news and opinion columns are edited for fairness and even-handedness, and presented in a respectful manner instead of the misinformation that often appears on social media.
• News You Can Use. Who is running for local office? What summer recreation programs are available? How much are my property taxes going to increase? What’s new at the library? Week after week, we provide the answers.
• Focus On Local Challenges. From addressing the nursing shortage to covering the declining number of farms in St. Lawrence County, North Country This Week reporters investigate serious issues that affect many of us.
• Community Connections. We help you make friends and acquaintances outside your social or Facebook circles by publishing info about people’s accomplishments, graduations, promotions, weddings, anniversaries, deaths, births & more.
• Promotion of our Communities. Our relentless promotion of St. Lawrence County’s many festivals, concerts, recreational events and other activities in the second section of the paper creates a positive image of the area to newcomers and long-time residents alike.
• A Popular Community Forum. We welcome letters to the editor so everyone can share their opinions and consider the views of others on vital topics affecting the community.
• 50 Times More Viewers Than Facebook. Headlines for stories published in North Country This Week and on NorthCountryNow.com generally are read about 50,000 times. A typical Facebook post is usually seen less than 1,000 times.
• Many Ways To “Shop Local.” No other source packs more info about where St. Lawrence County residents can “shop local” than North Country This Week and NorthCountryNow.com
• Professional Marketing Services. Our advertising sales consultants have decades of experience and can help small businesses and organization create effective advertising campaigns for print, online and elsewhere.
• Resources To Find A Better Job. To find a better job, turn to North Country This Week and NorthCountryNow.com. Our employment pages feature more than 75 St. Lawrence County jobs, far more than any other source.
• Local Employment. From Ogdensburg to DeKalb Junction and Colton to Winthrop, our 22 employees and 10 carriers live throughout the county. Most of their earnings are spent here, helping the local economy!
Bill Shumway is editor and publisher of North Country This Week. and NorthCountryNow.com.