Tap into power of the press

Tim Timmons
Tim Timmons

By Tim Timmons

Elections have recently wrapped up, so now is a great time to reiterate to our readers and our advertisers the tremendous relevance our community newspapers have all across the great state of Indiana.

Notice that I didn’t write still have.

That would imply there’s some question about that.

There is not. People turned in great numbers to our election previews, our election editions, our election results, our websites … In short, they turned to us. And we gave them what they wanted. 

On pages all across Indiana we published vote totals, we gave precinct-by-precinct results, we detailed the turnout, we asked voters why they voted the way they did, we wrote about trends, we did analysis pieces and we wrote opinions and editorials.

In years gone by, we got the results and put them on the page and then waited until the presses began to roll.

Nowadays, more papers than ever are posting those results online almost as soon as they are released.

That’s just the way we roll – pardon the press pun, please.

There was no one who could do or who did do a better job of telling the tale of the tape, so to speak, for this year’s elections than we did.

Let’s share that with our readers and advertisers.

In an age where soundbites become the story, where attention spans are shorter than a pica pole, it behooves us to remind our customers – past, present and future – that in the vast, vast majority of Hoosier communities we are the source of information.

We are relevant, and we are necessary.

Who else will have those results, in print and online?

We are the paper of record, the source citizens all across our communities turn to.

It is our franchise, our identity.

Where do most of the candidates go to tell their story?

The local newspaper.

Where do they go to publish their thank-you ads after the election?

The local newspaper.

Where do they go to tell the story that won’t exactly fit on those damn yard signs that pop up everywhere?

The local newspaper.

Soundbites are fine. Five or six words on a sign are fine.

But for the real facts, the results and, as Paul Harvey might say, “the rest of the story” in elections, our communities turn to us.

Elections are one of our most shining moments. We would do well to remind our customers of that fact.

Tim Timmons is publisher of The Paper of Montgomery County (Crawfordsville) and The Times (Noblesville) and president of the HSPA board of directors.