By JEFF JOBE
As a boy I remember reading a book about “Journalism,” and finding a quote credited to Walter Cronkite, a popular and distinguished broadcaster at that time. He said, “ Journalism, is what we need to make democracy work.”
I believe, although some may not even recognize the name, that his statement remains true today. Yet, we must understand that any media is as only good as its reach.
Transparency, rigorous questioning, and shared facts – these things allow readers to make informed decisions and few of us have the time or the resources to produce them for themselves. This may be more important at the local level than anywhere else.
Breaking news stories is what today’s media fight to offer, yet for 22-years it has never been our goal to rush stories. Instead we take our time and get in depth coverage because we have a single weekly publication.
Yet as technology and competitiveness changes alter markets, so do our strategies and our media group is listening and watching. I’m comfortable that any company that doesn’t listen to their customers is doomed to fail.
Last year for the first time we ran an online subscription special and were overwhelmed with our success. We got in the neighborhood of 300 subscribers in a 3-week period prior to the end of the year.
Seeing the partnership capability and having nurtured our online social media interaction we felt it would be a good time to begin introducing video broadcasts, live coverage and breaking news. As daily newspapers struggle by eliminating daily delivery and radio and television just can’t seem to get online interaction we are becoming more competitive. Once again, the weekly newspaper owns their markets because of pure loyalty and the fact we are living life together.
We took our time and found the right fit to lead this new division of Jobe Publishing. Mark Jones, a local video media specialist has been fine tuning his skills by working inside radio, broadcast and running his own production company.
We gave him a few months to get his feet on the ground and familiarize himself with our operation and when he was ready we went to work.
We went slow and introduced this new side of the company to just three of our communities. Barren, Metcalfe and Russell County were brought into the fold as test markets. Sierra Wilson is one of our newest sales and marketing representatives serving Russell County and she showed that the Times Journal has a level of trust that we could produce our first Veterans Day memorial video. It was fantastic and it couldn’t have been made possible without Superior Battery, DUO County Broadband, First National Bank and Community Trust Bank.
Mark then connected with our seasoned print general manager Jennifer Moonsong and editor PJ Martin. These ladies manage the Edmonton Herald-News and do a fine job. They stepped up and secured partnerships with South Central Bank, Tri-County Electric, Lucky Duck Discount and Heritage Barber Shop for our first ever live coverage event, the special election for Metcalfe County Sheriff. Wow, how exciting to see our company moving in this direction.
Jennifer, and Mark then chose to introduce our live coverage this past weekend for the Glasgow Christmas Parade. I stepped out of the shadows for a few minutes to help and it was an amazing feeling having friends at Precision Automotive, Little Black Dress, Woodman Life, The Vance Store and the Glasgow Water Department stand with us through sponsorships in making coverage possible.
With just the first month of productions we have already attracted more than 130,000 views on top of our 35,000 paying subscribers.
I’m reminded of a song from back in the day by the one-hit duo of Timbuk3, “The future is so bright, I gotta wear shades. “ So look for me, or Mark, in our shades as we take our live breaking news capabilities to Barren, Butler, Edmonson, Hart, Metcalfe, Monroe and Russell Counties.
Jeff Jobe is founder and CEO of Jobe Publishing, Inc. His commentary reflects his personal views and does not reflect the views of personal or professional associations and affiliations. Reach him at email@example.com. Read his previously published commentary at sckentucky.com