Editorial: The new News

The core mission of the Rappahannock News has always been – and will continue so – to report local news, provide useful information and provide a forum for discussions on issues important to Rappahannock residents.

While our purpose remains steady, the paper itself, like the community it covers, is constantly changing.

Indeed, without change, there would be no news. And news, of course, is what the passage of time is all about. Whether as in cyclical time (as in the turning seasons) or linear time (as in a human lifespan), to be alive means constant change. Only in death does time stand still.

The death of the newspaper business has been widely predicted over the last few years, as traditional print publications face ever increasing digital challenges and competitors. Newspapers have had to either change or die.

The most profound change at the Rappahannock News has to do with the passage of time itself, for we are no longer simply a weekly newspaper. Yes, our print and eEdition come out every Thursday; but our website – rappnews.com – is updated daily. For breaking news alerts, we’ll even send out so-called email blasts.

Access to timely, breaking news is just one of the many things our website offers, however. Thus:

Like a fancy new version of the old-fashioned “yellow pages,” our annual “Rappahannock Guide” business directory will be expanded and online by July 1 – providing a comprehensive, searchable resource guide for virtually all county activities. From business products and services to a constantly updated calendar of events, you’ll find it all at rappnews.com.

Basic listings will be free to all. And for local businesses and nonprofits which would like to promote their business from a central, one-stop shop – or which need help developing their own websites (as well as connecting to social media marketing on Twitter or Facebook) – we offer our expertise. Just give us a call or visit us online at rappnews.com.

Or pay us a visit the old-fashioned way – simply stop by our office on Main Street in the county seat. We’d like that. No matter how much change is afoot, handshakes and face-to-face meetings will always be virtues in helping define small-town life in the country.

Walter Nicklin