From the editor: Raised from the dead

Published 2:28 pm Saturday, December 7, 2019

Dawn Burleigh, Editor

A headline which grabs your attention is a headline that grabbed mine recently.

The rest of the headline read a newspaper lives! For me, it had now cast out, snagged and landed my attention.

The article was in News & Tech, a magazine for newspapers. The headline was appropriate as a local newspaper, once declared dead, reopened with it’s resumed publication on Oct. 30, 2019.

For those in the newspaper industry, it is refreshing and hopeful news.

We tend to hear things like:

“Print is dead.”

“No one reads the paper anymore.”

“I get my news online.”

But the reality is, print is not dead and the rebirth of the small hometown paper in Bigfork, Montana is evidence of the need of a local newspaper.

The article reads, ‘The town hated not having a newspaper. Local sports weren’t covered. The Bigfork School Board and the water and sewer boards met without a pesky reporter on hand. Parades, festivals, spelling bees, golf, and bowling tournaments lacked promotion. Elections came and went without candidate profiles, endorsements and results….’

‘The town started holding community meetings about two years ago, and the No. 1 request of the citizens was for a “respectable, legitimate news outlet to cover our town — everyone agreed social media news coverage was simply not enough,” King said.’

Everyone agreed social media news coverage was simply not enough.

I commend those who use social media to gain exposure. However, it alone is not enough.

The reach of your circle is only as big as your circle. It is a tool, not the end-all of end alls to reaching out to get the word spread about an event.

Someone recently told me, “Well, I thought you knew. It was all over Facebook.”

No, it was all over YOUR news feed, not mine. And if one does not log into social media on a regular basis? Or maybe, they do not bother to scroll through the newsfeed? It may have ‘reached’ them without the person every actually seeing it. 

One source is like counting all your chickens before they hatch.

The article ended with these words of wisdom:

Lesson learned: Little towns need their little newspapers.

Truth told every town needs its newspaper.


Dawn Burleigh is general manager and editor of The Orange Leader. She can be reached at