Newspapers' relevance has never waned


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Freedom New Mexico

Positive news about newspapers is good news to us — and we’ve got a little to share.

Since National Newspaper Week begins today, we celebrate those achievements with you, and offer our looking-forward view on the future of your newspapers.

Newspapers have been published in Clovis and Portales for more than 100 years, dating back to each community’s beginning in the early 1900s. Since then, both communities have always had a regular newspaper or, at times, even competing papers.

Older readers may recall how nearly a century ago doomsayers began the newspaper death chant. It arrived with the invention and growth of the radio industry. They were wrong, but it didn’t stop them from resurrecting the chant in the 1940s with the advent of television. Oops, wrong again.

Now it is back, of course, in the age of the Internet.

We predict the doom-and-gloomers will be wrong a third time.

Yes, the tumbling national economy has hit newspapers and other printed periodicals hard. But the blows aren’t any lighter for our radio and TV brethren either. Some media watchers declare they’ve been hit worse.

The only certainty is we all are feeling the nation’s economic quakes. This age is not made easier by our politicians, who, as always, are piling on one head-scratching legislative decision after another.

Yet, somehow, like the rest of America, you and your newspapers are hardly down for the count. Not even close.

We tighten our belts, swallow hard, plot our future course, and follow it.

Part of our future at the Clovis News Journal and the Portales News-Tribune — and for our parent company, Freedom Communications Inc. — is to continue our expansion into the ether world of newspapering, the Internet, e-mail and mobile phones.

Yes, right now life is a little more complicated because Freedom filed a month ago for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection while restructuring its financial position to alleviate debt. But it is moving toward a successful conclusion in several more months.

Your newspapers are still employing dozens of dedicated and trustworthy associates who work for you to provide important news and advertising information.

The changes in how we do business didn’t just begin with our online editions more than a decade ago, however. Change for the Clovis and Portales newspapers, as with every business around here that survives more than a century, has been a non-stop evolution.

Trusted, compelling content will always win with readers. Television and radio are in our region, but there remains no better original source for news and information than the local paper.

And not just in Clovis-Portales. The same is true with our weekly Quay County Sun in Tucumcari, and independently owned weeklies including the State Line Tribune in Texico-Farwell, the De Baca County News in Fort Sumner, the Muleshoe Journal and the Friona Star in Texas.

Newspapers — in print and online — are unmatched when it comes to resources and credible sources for delivering news, analysis, opinions, sports and cultural coverage. Where do many other online sites, including radio and TV competitors, learn about our local news? Much of it comes from newspaper Web sites.

Newspapers have been the watchdog protectors for public interest amid corrupt politicians, government waste and fraud, and accountability for schools and social-service agencies.

Quality content is paramount, and we have the best news-gathering act in our towns. With our online and print readers, our audience is larger than ever.

Whether it’s Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, broadcast networks, cable giants or radio conglomerates, the squeeze on advertising dollars is felt by everyone. But our ads don’t get skipped by TiVo or DVRs, nor do they scream at you for a third of every hour while you drive.

The return on investment for ads with us is well-documented through extensive research. We have value.

Our relevance to eastern New Mexico and the Texas Panhandle has never waned. We remain loyal to you.

And that’s worth celebrating every day.


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