I’ve seen a lot of changes in my 34 years in journalism – some good, some bad, some I thought were bad but ended up being good.
I used an old manual typewriter the year I was editor of the weekly Heppner Gazette Times in Eastern Oregon in 1979. Developed my own black-and-white film.
Got to use my first computer in 1980 as sports editor of the LaGrande Observer. After stints in Lake Tahoe and Redding, CA, I was introduced to the internet, email and pagination in the mid-1990s while editor in Port Angeles. Wasn’t a fan of any of that at first. Now I love them all.
Saw photographers use digital for the first time as assistant city editor in Everett in 2000, but really didn’t use it much myself until coming to The Marysville Globe-The Arlington Times four years ago. Seems like it’s hard to take a bad shot with those.
What I’m getting at here is, like singer Melissa Etheridge says, “The only thing that stays the same – is change.”
That’s certainly true in the newspaper business. The traditional model of running a newspaper is flawed today. The focus was on the product, not the audience. Therefore interest waned.
These two newspapers have changed a lot in the four years I’ve been here, and they will continue to change to find the right mix of what information will engage our readers.
We are about to enter a new model for our business – at least The Arlington Times part of it.
It’s no longer about the number of newspapers we distribute; it’s about the audience who reads it and how it applies to them. Audience engagement is key.
We worry about the public’s perception about a newspaper that is thrown on a reader’s driveway. It is the No. 1 complaint we receive every week. If it looks like trash, people may perceive it as trash. These newspapers are not trash. Last year the Globe was named the top weekly newspaper in the state. Since it shares a lot of content with the Times, that would mean that newspaper also ranks pretty high.
The Globe-Times, the past three years, has won more than 40 awards in all areas of the business: special sections, sports, web, news, editorial, photography, videos and more.
Which leads me to the purpose of this editorial: The Times has been Arlington’s hometown newspaper for going on 129 years. We want to continue to be your local voice for many more.
But we need your help. Because of the changing economic climate we need to ask you to subscribe to your newspaper, something that you did before Sound Publishing took over the publication more than a decade ago. Certainly a big benefit will be the newspaper will be delivered by mail and not thrown on to your driveway. Another benefit will be more Arlington stories. With paid subscriptions we will be able to expand the paper when most newspapers are declining in size because of the tariffs on newsprint. With more pages come more stories. More information you may not know. More information that may help your life. More stories to entertain you.
To our almost 7,000 Arlington readers, I encourage you to subscribe. The cost is less than $1 a week, at $39 a year for 52 issues or $63 for two years. It’s as simple as calling our customer service center at 425-339-3200 or subscribing online at www.arlingtontimes.com/subscribe/ As we invest more resources into publishing a better product, I ask those who value their community newspaper, whether it is a print version or a digital replica, to subscribe to the Arlington Times. We have been your community paper for 128 years, and we would love to continue that relationship for many more.
Steve Powell – Managing editor