Saturday, August 24, 2019

The community newspaper Carthage needs

(This was originally posted on my Facebook page and the Inside Joplin Facebook page.

While I know that a weekly Carthage Chronicle newspaper is being published and there is still a remnant of the Carthage Press online, I look at just the events that took place this week alone and see how much Carthage needs the Carthage Press and John Hacker.

Consider the following:

-A US Bank branch manager in Carthage is indicted and pleads guilty to embezzling $35,000

-A Carthage native who spent her entire childhood in the city is found murdered with her body stuffed in a suitcase in McDonald County, her three children are found safe and the father of one of them is a person of interest in the woman's death.

-One of Carthage's most prominent citizens, Joplin Globe Editor Carol Stark, who began her newspaper career at the Press, dies at age 61 after a valiant battle against cancer.

-Carthage City Council met and no Carthage publication is there to give a preview of what will happen when the Carthage R-9 Board of Education meets tomorrow night.

-A Carthage resident had to be flown to Springfield after suffering serious injuries in a motorcycle accident.

-A Carthage man pleaded guilty to federal meth trafficking and money laundering charges.

-School begins as have practices for fall sports

And that's not even mentioning the bulletin board aspect of a records page that features Carthage Police and Jasper County Sheriff's Office arrests, marriage licenses and dissolutions.

While the deaths are still being placed in the Chronicle and in the online Press, where do we find out about the weddings, the engagements, the anniversaries, the births?

Where do we find the coverage of Carthage's vibrant arts community. and the rich history of the city?

Where do we find the glue that binds a community?

Where do we find a watchdog that makes sure that public money is being spent responsibly?

Where in social media are we going to be able to provide those who follow us with a record that shows that we actually mattered?

I have tried to make the Turner Report, Inside Joplin and Inside Joplin Obituaries as close to providing news and commentary that in some ways approximates a community newspaper. You can be the judge of how successful I have been.

The Turner Report and the Inside Joplin blogs are not intended to replace a good community newspaper, but to serve as an additional source of information.

I am not going to be there to cover your meetings, to take photos at your events, to preserve for posterity your successes and your failures.

I spent some of the most enjoyable years of my life working at the Carthage Press.

I think often about the people and events from those years, the events that the Press covered so the community could remain informed.

Certainly, the owners of the Press did the Carthage community no service with the way the newspaper was mishandled since the turn of the century.

Despite that mismanagement, the people who steered the newspaper through the past two decades- Ron Graber, Rick Rogers, Buzz Ball and John Hacker among them, always put the needs of their readers first.

That is what a community newspaper does.

That is what Carthage needs


Anonymous said...

Carthage doesn't want a community paper. If it did then the advertisers would support it.

Randy said...

You obviously are not familiar with what happened in Carthage. Under GateHouse Media, advertising staff was cut, salesman no longer made rounds and instead of developing advertising that would help the businesses, they relied entirely on support pages and special sections.

There were new businesses that never saw or heard from the Carthage Press and the Press is not the only newspaper where that happens. When Gatehouse cuts, it doesn't discriminate. It cuts news, advertising, circulation. Its whole concept is to buy newspapers, then save costs by cutting staff, moving into smaller buildings and combining services.

Local advertisers never had the chance to support the Carthage Press, because its corporate ownership never showed any interest in them.

Anonymous said...

Looks like it may be time to resurrect the Mornin" Mail