This past week is one that had me feeling pretty darn good as a small-town newspaper editor.
First, for the Nevada Journal, was the news that the publisher has finally given the go-ahead for digitization of our newspaper by the Nevada Public Library.
What does that mean, you ask?
It means a lot! For historians and genealogists, they know how great this will be. And for families who want to look back at anything, the keyword search function means that whether you remember the date it ran or not, you should be able to locate most anything in the newspaper that ties to your search.
I can’t tell you how many times someone has contacted the newspaper for help with a search for something that ran at some time in the past. To go through bound editions, especially when you have no idea of the date or even the year, is like looking for a needle in a huge haystack, as they say.
Making it especially difficult for us at the newspaper was the fact that many of the bound editions, our way of holding onto all of our work, were destroyed back in 1995, when a torrential rainstorm took down the back wall of the old Journal building, ruining hundreds of bound edition pages as it did so. And because of multiple sales of the newspaper over the years, any archives that might have been started by one owner were usually lost when we became part of another newspaper organization.
Now, none of those bound editions will “bind” us. By typing in the name of the person, or the event, or something that would be tied to what you are looking for, you will have a much greater chance of finding it. And because it’s going online, you can do the searches right from the comfort of your home.
On one last note, I will say that for me, personally, with 26 years of my life having been devoted to writing for this newspaper, I will now have access to the hundreds of stories and columns I have written through the years. What a great joy it will be for me to be able to look back whenever I want, and not only me, but my children in years to come. Now they can see almost my entire life’s work online, and hopefully remember me through my writing.
Then there’s this
I was loving the headline on the front page of the latest Iowa Newspaper Association Bulletin publication, “Why Hometown Traditional Media Will Trend in 2018.” Right away, I started reading the cover story.
Written by Josh Fleming, vice president of Bank Iowa, it said that he was at an Advertising Federation panel discussion on advertising — what not to do in 2018. The discussion was about fading trends, and likewise, exciting new trends, like virtual reality, digital media and enhanced data analytics.
Fleming was listening to all this and then they passed the microphone to him. He writes: “In my short time at Bank Iowa, I’ve quickly learned that a community bank has to authentically invest in the local community. My new friend and a longtime Bank Iowa regional president, David Boswell, told me when I first came to his branch in Humboldt, ‘We are only as strong as the communities we serve.’
“He couldn’t be more right. And his wisdom led me to the answer I spoke into that mic…Here’s what I said: The trend I’m looking forward to is the resurgence of traditional media for our brand. While it may not garner the headlines, or have the tech appeal of the other mediums mentioned, the hometown newspaper and other hyper-local media like radio, provide great value, while supporting the communities we serve… there has never been a value like the one hometown traditional media offers … As a marketer, I know gimmicks crash and burn. That’s especially true in a small town. While concepts like hologram tellers and drone banking would no doubt grab attention, they are not what our clients need. The best marketing strategies deliver results while staying true to the brand … so take another look at traditional local media. It may be exactly what your brand needs.”
Amen to that! And this doesn’t just go for banks, I would add, but for any business that serves the local community.
Marlys Barker is editor of the Nevada Journal.