Nobody is blowing horns, shooting off fireworks and parading through the streets with a banner declaring we have reclaimed our name: The Richmond Daily News.
We just did it.
Ah, yes… Here they come. The naysayers.
You know them. They are the ones who are apoplectic in their eagerness to scream, “Na-na na-na boo-boo, it just ain’t so.”
But it is.
Whether our print product comes out just once a week, twice a week or seven days a week is not the point.
“OK,” those nattering nabobs of negativity crow, “then what is the point?”
The point is that we are generating news for subscribers to read several days each week, not just once or twice. We aim to produce new items daily. Not in print, though, as that should be obvious to even the oblivious.
As much as Teresa Shaw, Shawn Roney, Jack M. Ventimiglia III and I have enjoyed our stints working for papers printed daily, we realize fewer and fewer communities are able to afford the cost of buying a familiar, warm and cuddly newspaper in the traditional format. Instead, we have taken our place among several former printed dailies across the state – including The Marshall Democrat-News and The Daily Star-Journal in Warrensburg – that no longer come out daily in print, but remain daily online.
In recent weeks, The Richmond Daily News’ online presence has improved.
Now, at richmond-dailynews.com, stories are updated frequently. We dabble with video, too. And our social media presence has gotten attention.
When subscribers go to our website, they find our focus is on vetted news stories, not social media gossip.
When non-subscribers visit, they will sometimes get full local stories, but mostly they will get story tidbits – just enough to give an idea of what is going on. The tidbits come with appeals to subscribe.
Tidbits, like tweets, may be annoying to people who think news should be free and complete. Yet those same people would not think even for a moment that they could walk into Harps to demand free groceries. Harps – just like this newspaper – would go out of business if they gave away the only thing they have to sell. Harps provides groceries and we provide information.
Reasonable people get that basic principal of how capitalism works.
We are thankful to subscribers who support the service we have provided to the community for more than 100 years. Our savvy, multi-generational readers expect us to present community reality, without a pretense that all is well and without trying to make every molehill issue into a Watergate mountain.
We get that.
We proudly print community milestones and achievements, including school honors, graduations, engagements, weddings, anniversaries and professional accomplishments. Those milestones unite friends and families. They are the ties that bind a community.
We print the difficult stuff, too. Not with malice. But because the public needs to know when someone is arrested and why. When disaster strikes. When loved ones die.
Life is beautiful, horrible and, for the most part, reassuringly humdrum. Our stories and photos reflect that reality issue after issue, year in and year out.
We write news and feature stories, your stories, for you and for your children’s children’s children.
Using our website, we will do so more frequently, getting stories in print in timely fashion and online even more expeditiously as we reclaim our place as Richmond’s daily news source.
We have embraced our obligation to serve Ray County since 1914. We will go on doing so in print and online for many years to come – for as long as readers continue to recognize the role this newspaper plays as a pillar that supports the concept of “community.”