Small town newspapers, we’re different. Just like bigger newspapers from metropolitan areas, we report the latest news concerning our area, fill our society pages with engagements and weddings, feature our columnists proudly and reserve honored space for obituaries of our citizens.
Unlike those bigger corporation type newspapers, however, we have the unique ability to add a more “hometown” flavor to our pages. We run more pictures; school news and happenings are important to us; we root for the home team; and congratulate our neighbor on her 90th birthday.
While it would be great to send our reporters out several times a day to get late breaking news from the mean streets of Sistersville, Middlebourne, Friendly and Paden City, it just wouldn’t work here. We have the option and ability to bring our readers the news of our communities, good, bad and ugly; nice, sweet, comical and informative; sad, thought provoking, and irritating. News that is important to no one else, except our readers. Council, PTA, Fairs and Festivals, Magistrate’s reports, honor rolls and menu’s – that’s what you find in a small town newspaper, where a high school choir sometimes graces the front page right along with court news and a picture of veterans receiving awards.
Recent weeks have proven this point more than once, with the news of the deaths of several local residents making these editorial pages, finding space in columnists prose, and even making the front page. These people were not celebrities, nor widely known on a world wide spectrum, but they were important to our communities, therefore, to us. Though every loss of a resident of our community is devastating, and all deserve to be featured on the front page, sometimes the work some have done with their time on the planet warrants more than an appearance on an obituary page.
Bob Kelly, Brian Reed, Tim Doty, Bob Tippins, Dave Bassett . . . mere names on the obituary page in the larger newspapers of the world. Irreplaceable losses to our way of life, here at a small town newspaper.