By preserving local newspapers, Times performs a public service

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In our beloved city, we are fortunate to have a local newspaper. Newspapers foster community identity and solidarity. They create an affirmation of the sense of place where we live. They are our means of interlocking our connectedness with the outside world, which we can do at the convenience of a good read.

Understanding how newspapers affect our daily life is paramount in understanding the challenges all newspapers are facing in these ever-changing times.

In the last decade, more than 150 newspapers have closed their doors. The financial reasons are varied. The transition from print to digital has had a monumental effect on the industry. In essence, there is no cookie-cutter model for success for local publications. Financial survival is dependent on income diversification. In order to succeed, newspapers have to venture beyond their traditional income streams. Today’s successful publications have to be actively involved in the creation of spinoff media service companies, membership programs, paid sponsor content and live events. The Wilson Times is on the forefront of all of these.

Newspapers play a critical role in being the community watchdog: acting as the public’s eyes and ears against those in power. Newspapers are vital to our sense of democracy. They are the primary source for local reporting. They define the public agenda, encourage economic growth and commerce and they interpret concentric issues by defining their contours and boundaries. Most importantly, newspapers provide check and balance to democracy.

The Wilson Times plays a critical role in positioning themselves as the conduit between global, state and local events that stimulate our everyday conversations. They provide information that helps citizens live safer and healthier lives; access to educational, employment and business opportunities; and to give anyone the necessary means to participate in civic discussions.

As recently reported, The Wilson Times has demonstratively put forth an aggressive effort throughout the state by acquiring other publications. They have enhanced their business models well beyond traditional publication strategies in order to expand their media efforts. In the dark ages of failing newspapers, The Wilson Times is a beacon of hope for the future.

Our community needs to be aware of how monumental these strategies have been in the survival of our local paper. The management team of Morgan Dickerman, Kevin Zepezauer and Corey Friedman deserve HUGE accolades in their herculean efforts and brilliant business strategies. Success does not happen without vision and effort and The Wilson Times understands that. Hence the reason our community can still enjoy having a local reporting source.

Newspapers provide a voice to the community. We are truly blessed to have a local publication that continues to give us a forum in which that voice can be heard.

Anthony Verdini