Newspapers and those who print them often find themselves near the center of local life.
That’s been the case for as long as newspapers have been rolling off their presses. It’s not a bad thing, more often than not.
After all, being close to the action helps when writing about or photographing said action is one’s job.
Newspapers sometimes even find themselves as a focal point — and this, too, is not always a bad thing. It dovetails with our role as a marketplace of ideas. And hey, we like it when our work and its impact are recognized.
But as anyone can tell you, also close to the center of life in any community is its rumor mill. Sometimes the local paper, like any institution, finds itself caught up in its gears.
Though we at the Roswell Daily Record recognize that goes with the territory, we felt a duty of sorts to respond to one recent bit of misinformation.
We think we know where it originated. The newspaper has been in the process of selling a piece of property adjacent to our 2301 N. Main St. location — thereby doing our small part to encourage new business development in Roswell. The property was advertised for sale, and a Realtor’s sign was positioned out front — right on Main Street.
This apparently led some to leap to the conclusion that the newspaper itself is being sold.
Some took things a step further. Perhaps fueled by reports of challenges newspapers face nationwide, they’ve speculated that the RDR is going out of business.
RDR owner and publisher Barbara Beck responded last week to the rumors, stating that the RDR is not for sale, is not “going under” — is, in fact, not going anywhere.
“The Roswell Daily Record was founded in the late 1800s,” Beck said. “It was bought in the 1930s by my grandfather, Thomas Shearman, who owned several newspapers in New Mexico and Louisiana. It was bought by my father in the 1960s and still continues to be owned by the Beck family.
“In our long history as a newspaper, we have only missed one day of publication as a daily newspaper that we are aware of, and that was when the Goliath snowstorm hit a few years ago and it was unsafe for our newspaper carriers to deliver …
“I’d say that is a pretty good record of accountability to our readers.
“As a community newspaper we are committed to covering local news and sports, and under the direction of editor John Dilmore and his staff, there is more local news than ever before. The editorial department at the Roswell Daily Record is fully staffed. There have been no layoffs.
“In a time when smaller newspapers have gone through round after round of layoffs, we will continue to be here supporting our local community and providing a place where you can read news, sports and information as a daily newspaper.”
Here at the paper, we’re continuing to invest in how we deliver news to readers, as evidenced by the recent launch of a new online edition. Like most community newspapers, the RDR is a multi-platform local media company, with a reach that includes its print edition and its online offerings.
And like most community newspapers, with an eye on the future, we’re always looking for ways to improve and expand those offerings.
“You can help us by continuing to support the newspaper,” Beck added. “Consider us next time you need to promote your event or business, or place an advertisement — and continue to read the Roswell Daily Record.”
This is a tough business. It always has been, and it’s no secret that over the past couple of decades, it’s grown progressively tougher. But it’s also peopled by resourceful and resilient professionals who remain dedicated to making it work, not just in service to a bottom line or some other material consideration, but in service of the communities who depend on us.
“Spread the word,” Beck added. “We are a community newspaper that will continue to be here now and in the future. We believe newspapers are worth fighting for.”