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Scoop’n the News PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brenda Johnson Brandt   

Your community, your newspaper, your life

“Newspapers are dead” is the dirtiest of rumors, and National Newspaper Week is a great time to promote the fact that we plan to be around for a long time.

Recent economic times have indeed closed some big newspapers, leading to the dirty rumor that we’re all on a downward spiral. We experienced that right here in Colorado with the closure of The Rocky Mountain News in late February of 2009.

And it is true that many papers have followed suit since that time.

However, many more are growing. Yes. that’s a fact.

What is the difference? Clearly, the difference is community.

As we adapt to modern times, adding digital, mobile and social media links in addition to our print product, we remain viable because we are committed to our community.

And in that push to be on top of technology and as modern as possible, we can’t lose sight of the most important aspect of a successful, quality newspaper—you, our readers.

Newspapers have long been the cornerstone of society, and that didn’t change with the digital revolution.

We work hard to serve as the pulse of the community, to chronicle the activity, to hold public officials accountable, to advocate for openness in government and to serve as a reliable source to make knowledgeable citizens.

We add human interest and feature stories to further expose the people and their lives. It’s your stories, it’s your life, it’s your newspaper, it’s your community.

Putting together a Holyoke Centennial edition in 1988 and a Quasquicentennial edition this year have emphasized the value of the newspaper archives.

Agriculture, weather, athletics, academics, school and community clubs, city government, school board, hospital, county commissioners, deaths and births, retirements, tragedies, churches, businesses, military service, veterans, service projects and so many more—the stories are there for the record. We’re here to tell them.

Your stories are what make this community and what continue to drive the publication of The Holyoke Enterprise.

Pride and progress are chronicled in the pages of the newspaper, as are times of adversity, tragedy and economic strife.

Sometimes it’s easy to get bogged down with the daily routine of publishing a newspaper.

But the connection with the community in a personal way reminds me why I decided to make newspapering my life’s work.

In my early years at the Enterprise, I vividly recall my interview with Clarence Goddard, who was blind and deaf.

He was so patient, so kind, so pleasant, with an inspiring zest for life. And he had such a story to tell.

It gave a brand new meaning to the word communication. I wrote my questions in his hand and he responded.

I still have the typewritten note he sent me after the story was published. The words ran off the right side of the page and the typewriter ribbon needed changed, but the message of appreciation was clear and the communication was solid.

I learned so much from him, not only about the significance of communication, but also the value of telling the stories of the people who make up this community.

The newspaper industry and this newspaper in particular will continue to transform with the times, just like any other industry.

But one thing will never change: our historic promise to connect, inform, investigate and foster an educated community.



Holyoke Enterprise October 10, 2013