Okay. Let’s go back and relearn, if you’ve ever learned, the mechanics of the newspaper business.
We exist because of advertising.
Too many folks erroneously think that we can survive simply by selling newspapers. No. Emphatically no.
The business people in Hazlehurst or people who have business interests in Hazlehurst keep this newspaper in business by advertising in our pages and supporting this small, weekly newspaper.
If not for their support, the people in Hazlehurst would have no idea what their government bodies are doing, what their elected officials are doing, what is going on in the community, who had passed away, who is engaged, who is married, who make the honor roll, who’s on the Dean’s List, how the sports teams are doing, etc., etc., etc.
There are people in our midst who believe that Facebook is the way to communicate with the citizens of Hazlehurst.
Yes, there are lots of people who love Facebook and who look at it daily.
But there are many more who don’t look at Facebook.
A while back, I discovered there was a store open in town that I had no idea was open.
I told someone in the store, “You should advertise in the paper and let folks know you’re open.”
His reply: “It’s all over Facebook.”
Great! How’s that working for you? I wanted to ask, but I didn’t.
Another business opened in Hazlehurst and sent me an email saying people had suggested to him that he reach out to the newspaper to let folks know he’s open.
So, he reached out. Apparently wanting some free publicity.
Free publicity for for-profit businesses will do little more than shut us down.
I suspect people think I’m overreacting when I tell them the Internet — Facebook in particular — is killing this newspaper.
No. It is not an overreaction by any stretch of the imagination.
I look back at past Ledgers each week and find that we normally ran 16, 18, 20, 22 or more pages every week. The number of pages we are able to run each week is solely dependent on the amount of advertising we are blessed with each week. In case you haven’t noticed, we’ve been running 8-, 10-, 12-, sometimes 14- pages a week for the last couple of years.
Subscribers who don’t receive their paper for a week or two call us to find out what is wrong …. they want their paper and hate to see it not arrive.
If things don’t change, they may some day permanently not get their paper each week. If the community doesn’t want to support its newspaper, it will, indeed, go away.
I appreciate beyond adequate explanation those who have remained loyal in their support and their belief that advertising in their local newspaper is good business and good for the community.
Thank each of you from the bottom of my heart. I just wish everyone thought like you do.