Being in newspaper business for the greater part of seven years, with the first two years publishing twice weekly, there is a level of integrity and honesty that is engendered by the fact that once it is printed, it cannot be changed. History is written, and the job is done.
At times, there are corrective measures that can be taken to remedy a mistake, but it does not change the ink on the paper from last week.
Giving my heart to the product, there is a physical manifestation of the highs and lows of print. Every mistake takes a piece of my heart and leaves a grey hair for me to remember.
In choosing how I spend my life — what hours, days, and years I have left — I find a lifetime of gratification available in feeling the highs and lows of the newspaper and publishing business.
There is a level of honesty that is demanded of us in this business, and a level of critical thinking, cross-examination, and ethical behavior that is required in order to survive. We don’t have to pretend to be always be right, or demand perfection, but we must be willing to do whatever it takes to get as close to the truth as possible — because what we print is recorded in the public record. It is the story of our community.
Famed playwright Arthur Miller [Death of a Salesman (1949) and The Crucible (1953)] is recorded saying “A good newspaper … is a nation talking to itself.” It is also a community talking to itself, and to others.
There is a level of honesty and honor that we hold for ourselves in being that “good newspaper” that can be considered part of a community talking to itself, and honors the history of our community and earns the honor of being hosted on the shelves of the local historical societies.
That honor comes with a price, both in our pursuit of perfection and the pain of imperfections. At times, that honor must be protected. We might not achieve perfection, but we own our imperfections and are willing to face them squarely.
When my wife and I purchased the local newspapers, I was very surprised to hear how frequently the Paso Robles Press was confused with something called Paso Robles Daily News.
Such frequent confusion occurred by people who had lived here all their lives, and would not have made the assumption on their own. They had to be getting the information from somewhere.
In a very short time as owner of the Paso Robles Press, the evidence of confusion was clearly available. The Paso Robles Daily News (not to be confused with the Paso Robles Press) operates a Facebook page that describes itself as a newspaper. A quick read of comments on the page reveal more confusion — its own readers don’t know that it is not affiliated with our real newspaper, the Paso Robles Press. In fact, a comment left by a Facebook user that distinguished the difference between our Paso Robles Press and Paso Robles Daily News was deleted by the user admin.
When Paso Robles Daily News is confused with our work, our brand is harmed. We make our own mistakes, and we are happy to own up to them. We shouldn’t be defending ourselves against the mistakes of others.
As the local owner of a 130-year old newspaper in Paso Robles, we care about our brand, and the integrity of our copyrights and trademarks. We deliver the news, by mail and email, with more than 50 years combined news editorial experience in our newsroom and a network of dozens of experienced writers working freelance.
We love what we do, and love the delivery of our local newspaper. We also serve readers through social media channels and our websites, where thousands of readers view our pages online every day.
The past decade proved disruptive to the newspaper business, but our faithful subscribers have kept the print institutions alive and now we entered the next phase of local media in the 21st century. There are new rules, and new tools. The world is catching on to the odors of fake news, fake social media accounts, and the value of real community journalism.
We are proud to continue publishing the paper for the hardbound archives for readers and visitors to the historical societies for years to come. We are here to ensure that clear and true journalism remains alive in Paso Robles and Atascadero.
Thank you for subscribing and reading. You can follow along with our stories online at pasoroblespress.com.