It is no secret that print media is struggling to find its way in a 24/7 news cycle where people get news delivered to their television, their desktop, their laptop, their phone, and almost anywhere but to their front door in the form of a newspaper. Staying relevant is difficult, at best, for a daily paper. Now imagine trying to find your place as a weekly paper. When the expectation is instant results, waiting seven days for breaking news just ain't what it used to be.
The Northwest Times Record is the latest casualty of the trend toward e-journalism. Steeped in tradition, the NW Times Record has always prided itself as being "Your Community
Image via WikipediaNewspaper." True to its tag-line, the paper focused on covering stories that its community cared about; school openings, city council and school board meetings, athletic events and Kiwanis Club fundraisers. It was the paper where you announced your daughter's wedding engagement and where I announced the birth of my daughter.
This Thursday will be the last issue of the NW Times Record. With a Thursday print day, I have been making Tuesday deadlines for the last eight years. Today was my final Tuesday deadline. The letter to the editor below sums up my relationship with the Times Record and its owners, publishers, and my friends, Art and Joan Jones. Thursdays in NW Tarrant County won't be quite the same.
In 2001 I came to EM-S ISD as the Public Information Officer of what was then a small suburban school district. My job was to facilitate communication with the parents, employees, taxpayers, and community of Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD. My background in public relations had taught me that in order to effectively do my job I would need the help of the local media.
Enter the Northwest Times Record.
Coming from the media market in Dallas, I was skeptical to say the least, but after my first conversation with owner and publisher Art Jones, it was evident, I wasn't in Dallas any more. Art and his business partner, editor, feature writer, and wife Joan, were eager to publish good news, of all things. Something that I wasn't used to, but was definitely glad to hear. In fact, in my eight years here, I can't once recall the Times Record turning away a good news story, something that I don't think can be said for any other news institution I have ever worked with.
Don't get me wrong, the Times Record wasn't all sunshine and roses. They covered their fair share of controversial stories as well, many of which included EM-S ISD. But every time, and I mean every time, that Art got a tip that involved our district, his first phone call was to my office. I can't even hazard to guess the number of calls that I received that started with, "Kristen, Kristen, Kristen, let me count the ways you can help me today." He never ran stories based on anonymous tips, no matter how juicy the information, and believe me, some of it was really juicy. He always checked his facts and as such, his stories were fair and showed both sides. Another dying art in media today.
Northwest Tarrant County is losing a great voice in the Times Record. We have celebrated achievements together, tried new recipes, re-lived Friday night's football game, and kept up to date with City Council and School Board actions.
Thank you Art and Joan for all of the hard work and dedication, but mostly the heart that you have put into the Times Record over the years. This is the last Tuesday deadline that I will have to make, and the first I have sent with a tear in my eye.
All my best ~
Director of Communications
Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD