Welcome to the first edition of our 60th year in production. I have been editor for just under a year and am still steadying my legs. There’s a tremendous amount to do, with people to meet, events to cover and, of course, the actual editing and producing of this healthy local biweekly newspaper. Add into this mix the weight of getting it all right. This takes a high level of passion and perseverance. It’s no secret I stand on the shoulders of giants, starting with the paper’s founder (and 14th editor), Nancy Wood, and continuing through 16 other editors in chief. It seems each editor here at The News has left a legacy—his or her own special mark of success which led to the next. I hope to do so as well.
The year ahead will be packed with celebrations honoring The Charlotte News’s legacy in town. Editors past will contribute regularly. See Nancy Wood’s commentary on page 03. Usually a jubilee is an anniversary associated with the reign of a monarch after a milestone number of years, so it’s quite fitting The News will have a jubilee year since we have always reigned supreme with the finest local news in town. We will host a number of events to mark this momentous occasion. Stay tuned—I will keep you posted.
From a typed newsletter to a full-color print and digital newspaper format today, much has changed. The newspaper industry has always transformed itself to adapt to an ever-changing media culture, but the fastest and most distressing changes have occurred over the past two decades.
The Charlotte News was once the only local news source in town. Today there are so many avenues an information seeker can travel, most of which begin right inside a cell phone. From Front Porch Forum to Craigslist, what people seek locally they will find right in the palm of their hands. It’s a new world. Somehow picking up a newspaper seems rather archaic, especially to youngsters under the age of 30. How will we ever compete?
If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, they say. Competition is healthy because it forces us to work harder, to do our best and to make positive change. But I have to tell you, Charlotters are contributing regularly, as always. We have about 7,000 dedicated readers of the print publication and digitally, we have almost 4,000 online readers monthly. That number continues to grow since the implementation of our new website in January. I have worked diligently to make our digital footprint deeper and wider, creating a bridge for The News to travel seamlessly into the hands of the next generation of data hunters.
As the sun sets on print in the decades to come, I am hoping my legacy will be one of opening a grand digital doorway for Charlotters to arrive effortlessly onto new media’s grand foyer. Until then, my own love of newsprint will reign supreme. Because, to be honest, if I have my druthers The Charlotte News will be the last nonprofit newspaper on stands in the state. Who is with me on that?
While we have embraced the digital age out of necessity and because it provides a broader and more contemporary response and reach to readers of The Charlotte News, we also know that content is critical to the quality of any news forum and to the reader’s connection to our community. whether that news is delivered in print, online or through another medium.
We think you’ll agree that local news is the best news. Another way to think of The Charlotte News is much like you do our volunteer fire department. We’re here when you need us. We know our job and can locate all of the nooks and crannies in town. We have traveled every bumpy road and have met almost every home and business owner. In other words, we’re invested in a way that only locals care about. While others can drop a good story every now and then, it’s not likely that they’ll stick around for long. We will and we have.
The Charlotte News will continue to champion everything that makes Charlotte newsworthy. If it’s meaningful to you, you can bet it holds the same importance to us. So, thank you for celebrating with us and for continuing to support a truly local institution that still has stories to tell and will for years to come.
Let me ask you, how do you read your news? Email me at [email protected]. I would love to hear from you. And send along your own contributions to The News. I am always looking for photos, videos and, of course, your stories. See you at a jubilee event this year! Whatever shall I wear?