Last month, a sculpture of a newsboy stood proudly in front of our office—for a few hours anyway.
We participated in Harrisburg’s Ice & Fire Festival, which featured ice sculptures placed throughout the city. A paperboy—perfect for us!
A warm weekend followed by rain showers quickly reduced the little guy to a formless, blobby shape and then to a cold puddle of water.
As I assessed the situation, mid-melt, some wise guy walked up to me and said, “He’s mostly gone. Kinda like the newspaper industry, huh?”
Unfortunately, he wasn’t wrong either. Over the past few years, Dauphin County alone has lost three venerable weekly newspapers. By my count, only two papers based in the county still exist that regularly publish news.
There was a time—and it wasn’t terribly long ago—when a town of any decent size had its own local newspaper. There were more than a dozen in Dauphin County alone.
You may not have read them to find out what was happening in China, but that wasn’t their purpose. You read them to find out what was happening down the block, which, in the scope of things, was likely a lot more important to your life.
Council actions, the school board, local businesses, development—it was all there. Local ads, too, for restaurants, realtors, retailers, etc. So much has been lost. No Facebook page can replace the reliable, relevant information that’s disappeared from so many communities.
At TheBurg, we’ve adapted by combining old-school newspapering with the best of the digital world, boosted by a modern aesthetic and true care for our community. Any business that’s survived the online revolution and two years of pandemic must be doing something right, and that applies doubly to the struggling newspaper industry.
So, open up the April issue and see for yourself what we’ve been up to. Then visit our website, read our online-only news, check out our blogs, listen to our podcast. We may have lost our icy newsy, but we believe that we’ve found a winning formula for high-quality, 21st-century local journalism.
If you like what we do, please support our work. Become a Friend of TheBurg!