BY BRIAN WHITMORE, PUBLISHER
Happy New Year!
We look back. We look forward. We’re optimistic.
At The Chronicle, we begin the year with some design changes. It’s a more modern look and we hope you’ll like it.
Sports will move to the B Section front. Spotlight photos will now be photo packages within the A Section. Tommy Kitchen’s column will now be at home on the opinion pages with other columnists.
New fonts are in place and leading is adjusted for better readability.
Clinton’s clock is now proudly in our masthead (name plate on the front).
As a paper, we are optimistic about the new year and the future.
Our industry is hurting and that’s no secret. Advertisers and subscribers are everything to a newspaper. Ultimately, if you don’t use us, you’ll lose us.
We’ve got a strong base of advertisers that realize the benefit of supporting the community newspaper. They realize it is the cheapest way to reach the most people for their business.
We’ve got a strong subscriber base made up of people who want to know what is going on in their community.
I urge our readers to support our advertisers. I urge our advertisers to listen to our readers, a strong consumer base.
The Chronicle has been around since 1900. But that doesn’t mean we can take it for granted, because that’s a sure way to lose it.
Other communities got lackadaisical concerning their newspapers. Other communities didn’t care if the newspaper went away. And that’s what happened.
Back in 2012, Hometown News closed six newspapers — The Boiling Springs Sentry, The Blacksburg Times, The Middle Tyger Times, The Inman Times, The Whitmire News and The Woodruff News.
You say, “well a regional paper can fill the gap.” Do you really think anybody in Spartanburg cares about what is going on in Woodruff and Enoree? Outside of a murder or bad news, no.
And do you think anybody in Greenville cares about Clinton or Joanna or Cross Hill or Mountville or any of Laurens County?
No, without The Chronicle, all you’ll get is the rumor mill on Facebook and bad breaking news in a regional paper or on TV.
Without the Chronicle, there will be no watchdog for local government. They’ll do what they want and put a positive spin on everything, good or bad.
Maybe you think Laurens County only needs one newspaper? I’m here to tell you that with reader and advertiser apathy, Laurens County would be in danger of losing both its award winning papers, recognized among the best in the state.
Maybe you think a website without a paper is enough? Most of Laurens County’s population are seniors. They want to hold a paper in their hands. And they’ve got the wallets advertisers are looking for, not the kids on their phones.
The newspaper is the way we get information out to everyone, old and young (MyClintonNews.com and our Facebook page).
Without The Chronicle and our local radio station WPCC, the City of Clinton, Presbyterian College, the Chamber, LCDC and infinitely more organizations better hope people are used to looking on their websites and Facebook pages for information, because they will no longer have the right means to mass communicate with Greater Clinton.
And there is the economic impact without a newspaper.
Without The Chronicle, the City of Clinton’s tax base will be that much smaller — losing tax money, utility money, business license fee and more.
Ten people will be out of work without The Chronicle. That might not sound like much, but every job counts for Clinton and our local leaders have touted numbers like that out on the interstate.
The Chronicle is strongest when the local economy is strongest. Having a newspaper can help lure potential businesses to Clinton and students to Presbyterian College. Not having a newspaper can be a turnoff, as most college towns we are compared with have one.
We are all in this together and we all need to work together. The Chronicle needs Clinton business, readers and institutions to succeed. Clinton needs The Chronicle to succeed.