Part two: Where is the Vicksburg Post today?
Last week, I wrote the first of a two-part series that aims to educate our readers on where their hometown newspaper is today, and where we are going in the future.
The measure of a newspaper is not just how many you print or how many people visit your website. Newspapers should also be measured by the difference they make in the community they serve. A good newspaper is more than just a recorder of the news or a reflection of the community. It must also be an advocate for what is good for the community and must have the coverage to point out and offer a solution for what needs to change.
I believe, and our team at The Post believes, a newspaper should be a champion of the community it serves. That’s not the same as a cheerleader. A champion will celebrate the successes and point out and seek to fix the failures of a community. There are people who wish we wouldn’t publish bad or negative news or at least print less of it. But we firmly believe an informed reader is an empowered citizen. People make better decisions when they are aware of all sides of an issue. If we recognize bad things are occurring, we can change them. Together, we can make our community better.
My hope is that you will join us in this effort, with facts and responsible, problem-solving opinion.
Like most businesses in Warren County, the financial health of The Vicksburg Post has been and will continue to be directly tied to the health of our community. And like many success stories, The Vicksburg Post’s strong financial footing did not come without making tough decisions. Often, such times mean staff members and management must do more with less.
Changes in Vicksburg’s economy affect the business operations of a newspaper, and in turn, can affect our readers. Subscribers have experienced some changes recently, like receiving the print edition five days a week and getting the newspaper in their mailbox instead of in their driveway or on the front porch.
You may be surprised to learn changes that have affected our entire community, like the price of gas, also affect us at The Vicksburg Post. Another recent example of an economic change is the local Dillard’s from going to a full-line store to close out. That change resulted in our losing advertising revenue virtually overnight.
But we have adjusted, and are OK.
A mentor once shared his thoughts on newspapers and their financial position as follows, “I know of no good newspapers that are broke and no broke ones that are any good.” Rest assured, The Vicksburg Post is fortunate to have a strong financial footing thanks to the leadership and proactive approach of many employees, some of whom arrived long before I did.
Their work and our current team’s commitment to success allows us to adapt to market changes, compete with those who enter our marketplace and provide award-winning news coverage to Vicksburg and Warren County. We look forward to providing such for many, many years to come.
My hope is after reading this series you’ll have optimistic news to share about The Vicksburg Post the next time someone brings up the newspaper industry. I certainly am optimistic about our future, and am honored and proud to have the opportunity to share a little more information about where we are today with you.