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Newspapers alive and well PDF Print E-mail
Written by Holyoke Enterprise   

Community newspapers are alive and well. This was the message of the National Newspaper Association (NNA) when members kicked off the organization’s second 125 years in Omaha, Neb. last week.

“Community newspapers are the heart and soul of America. We are in our communities and we have no plans to leave. We are not blogs, but we have blogs. We are not websites, but we have websites. We are whole, real newspapers in print and other media and we continue to serve,” said Elizabeth Parker, co-publisher and executive editor of Recorder Newspapers Inc.

Parker became NNA’s president on Oct. 2.

Representing Johnson Publications at the annual convention were publisher emeritus Elna Johnson; co-publishers of the Imperial Republican, Grant Tribune-Sentinel and Wauneta Breeze, Russ and Lori Pankonin; and Holyoke Enterprise publisher Brenda Brandt.

Brandt serves as Colorado’s state chair for NNA and carried the Colorado state flag during the opening ceremony Oct. 1 at the Qwest Center in Omaha. The Pankonins were named Nebraska’s co-chairs at last week’s convention.

Additionally, Russ Pankonin and Kurt Johnson, publisher of the Aurora (Neb.) News-Register, presented a session on Soundslides.

Darci Tomky, Jes-c Brandt and Duncan Brandt were
recognized as winners for The Holyoke Enterprise in the
NNA 2010 Better Newspaper Advertising and Better
Newspaper contests. Awards were presented at the
conclusion of the NNA convention in Omaha Oct. 2.

Tomky is pictured with the two first-place awards in the
advertising contests. She won first for best small-page
ad in non-daily division, circulation less than 10,000; and
Jes-c Brandt and Tomky won first in best multiple advertiser
section for the September 2009 Homecoming Hide & Seek

In the Better Newspaper contest, Duncan
Brandt won second place for best sports photo, non-daily
division circulation less than 3,000 for a September
2009 football action photo.

During her acceptance speech at the association’s business meeting, Parker said, “These are exciting and transitional times for our nation and for our industry. But out of all challenge comes opportunity.

“It is an opportunity to create a fresh approach, perhaps to take a new track, to aggressively market and promote our strengths as an industry and specifically our unique and vital roles as community newspapers.”

“Readers are changing. Markets are changing. But local journalism is as much needed as ever,” said Parker.

NNA is forming a marketing council of newspaper executives to carry its word to the industry and to be the eyes and ears of the association across the community newspaper industry. It will develop and promote marketing campaigns to remind the nation that real newspapers are not dead.

“The newspapers that are closing their doors or reducing their print schedules are not the community newspapers that NNA represents,” added Parker. “We are doing much better than our big city brethren and while we embrace the new technology on our websites, mobile phones and Facebook profiles, we are the new footprint of print and we are not going away.”

NNA represents more than 2,200 community newspapers­—weekly and small daily newspapers across America. It was founded in 1885.

NNA’s annual convention segued nicely into National Newspaper Week, an annual celebration and recognition of the important role of newspapers in their communities.

“Newspapers­—the print and online connector for today’s communities” is the theme for the Oct. 3-9 Newspaper Week celebration.