Posted on 23 July 2015.
By Judy Reed, editor
The Cedar Springs Post is celebrating 27 years of being your hometown newspaper.
Any town’s history is only as good as its local newspaper.
Did you ever wonder how we know so much about our town’s history? It isn’t by word of mouth (though stories have been handed down); it isn’t taught in school; and it’s not from old movies or magazines. There are a variety of ways we know about the early days of Cedar Springs, or can piece it together. But the biggest resource we have for information is the early newspapers of this town. Our town fathers had the foresight to hold on to each issue, dating from 1867 to the 1970s and they are now on microfilm at the Cedar Springs Historical Museum.
The Cedar Springs Story, a history of our town written in the 1970s by Donna DeJonge and Sue Harrison, used those newspaper clippings as major source material (along with interviews, census data, plat maps, and much more) to give us a treasure trove of information. But the Cedar Springs Clipper shut down in the 1970s, leaving a hole that needed to be filled.
The Cedar Springs Post has filled that hole since 1988. Our newspapers are kept on file at the museum now. We print 5,000 copies each week for readers, and keep a few extra copies for ourselves. We have them bound into books each year, at The Post’s expense. One copy for us, and one for the museum. This year an anonymous donor stepped up to help with that expense. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
The books are a record of what happened in our town, in the greater northern Kent County and western Montcalm County, each year. It’s our history—history that some day, another generation will research.
Life at The Post is different than it used to be. Gone is the hey day of having an editor, reporter, several stringers, photographers, a bustling sales staff, multiple designers, office manager and publisher. We have had to do what newspapers and businesses across the country have done—cut expenses. And that usually means cutting personnel. Our only revenue to support what we do is by local businesses advertising, or readers paying for things like announcements and classified ads. The problem is that just like everyone else, businesses are looking for ways to cut expenses. And too often, the newspaper advertising is the first to go. Businesses will often ask why they need to advertise in the local paper if people already know they are here? Or if they can do it free on Craigslist? Or Facebook?
There are many reasons. But the most important reason is this: it will help keep our town’s history alive for another generation.
We thank the local businesses who continue to support us, even in tough economic times.
Our readers have an equally important part in keeping the newspaper going. Keep sending us your stories and photos. This paper is about you—it’s your story we are chronicling. But the other important piece is for readers to shop at their local businesses. Let them know you read The Post, and that you saw their ad.
On July 28, it will be 27 years that we have served you. Twenty-seven years of writing your stories. We hope to be doing it for many more!