Sad day in the biz
The newspaper community was saddened to hear about the closing of two local newspapers the Byron Review and Star Herald.
15 years ago Melanie and Larry Dobson along with their daughter Emily make a commitment to the community by buying the papers, and since then became apart of the community.
They exemplified what it means to be apart of a community newspaper.
When I graduated from college I was offered a full time reporting job in St. James. I had never been to Minnesota before, had no connections to it but regardless I decided to move halfway across the country.
Quite truthfully when I took the job I didn’t know what community newspapers were all about and for me the position was a entry level position to start my career and not much more.
After a short period of time however I began to see how amazing working for a small town paper is.
I quickly became apart of the community, met some of the greatest people and friends and truly understood what it meant to be apart of a close knit community.
During my time there I was on the Board of the Chamber of Commerce, participated in the community theater, and coached high school throwing.
For me though the most important part of my time there was making an impact on people's lives through my storytelling.
I think the biggest impact story I had on the community came during the summer. I was in Rhode Island and there were many rumors in town that ICE was in town rounding up people.
Long story short half way across the country I was able to debunk the rumor in hours and gave a sigh of relief to many people in the community.
No other media outlet had covered it and even though I was vacationing on the beach I was happy to provide the service of informing the community because I knew that they relied on people like me to be informed.
It reaffirmed my believe that community newspapers are important.
Fast forward a few weeks to the middle of September and I saw a job posting for a small town newspaper in Kasson Minnesota called the DCI.
After doing a little bit of research about them I knew that we would be a perfect fit for each other.
Me and Rick visited for a while on Facetime and he agreed that having me on board would be a good thing for the paper.
I’m sure glad he did.
This means I get to continue doing what I love and that is being apart of a community newspaper.
Community newspapers is more than just headlines and bylines, it's about making meaningful connections in the community and being apart of the community.
As I continue to tell stories in the community my hope is that I also become apart of the community even more.
Without a doubt the Dobsons have left an everlasting impact on the community and their commitment to providing news to the local community is something that can’t be overstated.
I am very thankful for people Emily, Larry and Melanie who take on the role of owning their own community newspapers.
Owning a newspaper isn’t the most glorious business to own and often times people in the business don’t go own to become millionaires.
Despite this people with a love for journalism and a passion for small communities are selfless and take on the ventures of doing so.
Thank you to people like my boss Rick, the Dobsons and many others across the state and country who have made the commitment of doing their part in the community by owning their own small town community newspapers.
For those in the community remember to continue to read and support your local newspaper, because it’s not only important, but it’s essential to the community that you live in.