Letter: Happy to still have local newspaper (Aug. 10, 2022)


Congratulations to Scott and Miriam Swanson and their staff at The New Era on being named the best weekly newspaper in the state with a circulation of less than 2,000.

That is an amazing accomplishment, especially for a true “mom and pop” newspaper.

The cherry on the ice cream sundae is The New Era also won the Sweepstakes Award, which means staff members won the most news and photo awards of all weekly newspapers entered in the annual Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association Better Newspaper Contest.

These are no small feats, especially when one considers Scott and Miriam publish true community newspapers (including Lebanon Local) – locally owned and locally targeted – in a business dominated by corporate ownership. Their newspapers are not filled with stories from the Associated Press. Every inch of space is a local news story or photo.

There is a magazine for newspaper folks called Editor & Publisher and each year it selects about 10 newspapers nationwide that “Do It Right.”

Well, I contend Scott and Miriam and crew are doing it right in a business climate that is constantly changing. During our 20-year ownership of The New Era, we never once thought we might have to print the newspaper and EXTRA shopping guide as far away as Klamath Falls, but that is happening today.

More than 2,500 newspapers have closed in the United States, about 360 of them in the last two years alone.

There are some areas of the country now called “news deserts,” counties where no local newspapers – daily or weekly – exist.

Sweet Home is fortunate to have The New Era and the Swansons (although I am still a bit ashamed that we sold to Duck fans).

They truly do it right because like me and Debbie, Sweet Home is our home, not just another newspaper property location. It is where we reared our three kids, enjoy going to church and community activities and just plain love living.

The same is true for the Swansons.

Again, we could not be prouder of our adopted hometown newspaper’s accomplishments and we hope our fellow readers are too.

God bless and keep the news about our little town coming for many years to come.

Alex Paul

Sweet Home

Former TNE Publisher