As I was thinking about my return to The Covington News over the last couple of weeks, the title of Thomas Wolfe’s last novel kept popping into my head - “You Can’t Go Home Again”. Yet, here I sit, in an office adjacent to the new newsroom inside The News’ office on Usher Street, more than a little excited to be back in the news business, and about the possibilities for this newspaper.
Local news matters, and somebody has to report it. And that’s what we’re going to do. Our Owner, Patrick Graham and our Publisher, Madison Graham Allen are committed to providing Newton County with a first-class newspaper and I’m grateful for the opportunity to help them achieve that goal.
But newspapers are businesses and like all businesses, they require revenue. It’s something of a vicious cycle - we need readers and subscribers so people will buy the ads to increase the revenue we need to hire the people to write the stories that people want to read so we can sell the ads.
And I’ve already told our circulation manager and our ad director that that’s what we in editorial are going to do. We’re going to write those stories.
A newspaper’s primary mission to give you, our readers, well-written, compelling stories worthy of the time and money you invest in reading them. To do anything less is to do a disservice to you and our profession. So here in the newsroom, we’re going to come to work every day with that mission in mind.
Going forward, you’re going to see some changes to the newspaper. We’re going to change our masthead, or flag across the top that identifies the paper. The new one will reflect the dignity due a newspaper that has been in this community since 1865. We’re also discussing some changes to the way that online stories are accessed in order for the community to be kept apprised in emergency situations.
We want to be good stewards of the trust the community has placed in us over the years. We want to be your newspaper. And if it all works out, I’ll be able to say that the title of the Thomas Wolfe novel was wrong. I actually did come home again…