As we push forward in 2021 after a year, we would all most like to forget, it brings me to something that I wanted to tackle during the first few months of taking the reins of the Coastal Courier and the Bryan County News.
We are currently approaching the 150th birthday of the Coastal Courier. We are still tracking down the exact date of the first published newspaper which would eventually be called the Coastal Courier, but as we do, we also look at the same principals and needs of a newspaper all those years ago. The mission of a newspaper has never been to sway opinion, but to give the facts as they present themselves and let people make up their own minds.
Our community newspaper has served as a voice for the communities that it serves. As one very important to me once said, “We are the scribes of our communities.”
By that I mean we are here to serve the public and community in which we publish, but we are also a business and need the support of that very same community.
We offer many things that no other news service can offer and with some more good fortune we will be offering many more things in the coming days, weeks and months ahead.
As we hopefully start to loosen the grip which Covid-19 has had on us, we will begin to move the newspaper and our services into areas and events which have never been seen before. We are going to offer events, contests, promotions in the coming months which will bring our newspaper and our communities into focus and, also, promote our businesses in an affordable and comprehensive way.
Our newspaper offers many things that radio, television or other entities can’t. It’s that simple. We reach readers of education, income and the means to purchase. We reach people that are looking for answers to important questions. We also offer a forum where intelligent people can voice their opinions on subjects which also impact our communities.
Wait, on second thought, we also offer a forum where people not so intelligent can also offer their opinions. That’s only fair.
I was asked the other day by a college student working on their thesis, “What role do newspapers play today that they didn’t play 50 years ago?”
My answer is simple. I, we, have no agenda.
If voters vote one way, we will report it. If a jury convicts a person, we will report it. If a person is arrested, we will report it. If a student exceeds expectations and achieves something, we will report it. If a team wins a big game or a championship, we will report it. Both in print and online.
There are so any things that we as a newspaper can offer to our communities that no one else can. You want three minutes on air? You got it.
We have newspapers in print and in digital that go back decades.
We have big plans for our 150th Birthday and we hope the community will give us support and celebrate as we move forward into the future and into the growth of our product and our ability to make an impact on our communities.
I think we have plenty to offer to our readers, in fact, I’m almost giddy about what we can do and how we can offer things we never have in the illustrious history of this newspaper.
When this newspaper was published back in 1871, the editors, reporters and publishers wanted to produce a newspaper which would give the citizens an account of the happenings and events in our readership area. We are still trying to provide that today.
If you see me, “say Hey!”
Dee McLelland is the Publisher of the Coastal Courier and the Bryan County News.