Partnership [pahrt-ner-ship] noun, the state or condition of being a partner; participation; association; joint interest.
About two years ago, I sat down with Jerri diPingre, then president of the Minden South-Webster Chamber of Commerce. I was in my “Bossier mode” and wanted to talk to her about our business magazine, BIZ.
During the course of the conversation, she spoke of the fact the Minden Press-Herald being a daily newspaper was really a “feather in our cap” when she was speaking to potential businesses and industries interested in coming to this area.
I didn’t put too much thought into the statement until a recent visit to the board meeting of the Minden-South Webster Chamber of Commerce. During the course of the meeting, Finance Chair George French III made a similar statement. He said, “We are truly blessed to have a daily newspaper in Minden.”
In light of recent downsizing and layoffs involving newspapers across the country, these statements resurfaced in my memory. And, while it sounds somewhat self-serving, I must also say that having a daily newspaper in a city the size of Minden is not only a blessing, it is rare.
As with any business, the newspaper must pay its people, pay its bills, and hopefully make a profit. In this economy, margins are tighter than ever — for everyone.
These facts led me to the conclusion that we are truly in partnership with our community. Subscribing to the newspaper gives you the benefit of the news each afternoon. Likewise, advertising in the newspaper gives businesses the benefit of local marketing and customer acquisition. But the partnership goes far beyond those benefits.
A healthy newspaper is a benefit to the community it serves. From the printed publication, to online offering via website and social media, the newspaper is the hub for the community and its ambassador to the world around it.
More than just a “feather in our cap,” a daily newspaper gives timely permanence to the news of the day. Games played at night are generally in the newspaper the next day. Proceedings from governing bodies are recorded and available within hours.
While bigger cities may feel all news is instantaneous and therefore the newspaper behind the rest, it certainly isn’t true of our community.
Where else would you find Minden Dixie League scores and write-ups? How would you know about events like Grilling on Main?
Buying advertising and subscriptions help pay the salaries of reporters, salespeople, circulation folks, press crew, and so many more. These individuals love this community and are doing everything they can to serve it well. They have families, bills, and other expenses like all of us.
This isn’t just about the newspaper either. Minden is truly blessed to have its own radio station like KASO/KBEF. The Chreene family truly loves this community and is committed to it. They spend countless hours covering sports and local events (like Minden High School’s graduation ceremony). Not just any radio station would even consider doing what KASO/KBEF does on a regular basis.
So the next time you consider where you spend advertising dollars, or decide whether or not you want to renew your subscription, think of more than just the price or the immediate return. Think of the overall benefit you enjoy with a strong daily newspaper and a strong local radio station. We are truly committed to serving you, because that’s what partners do.
David Specht is president of Specht Newspapers, Inc. He may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.