MORRIS – One of the things I like best about Morris is its independence.
It’s not a suburb of Chicago. It’s a unique place with its own identity, a thriving downtown and a restaurant called R Place with great chicken fingers (I have literally dreamt about them.)
In the six weeks I’ve been editor here, one thing I’ve learned quickly is that people feel that a weekly paper just isn’t cutting it.
We’ve heard you: You want more news, published more often. So, beginning April 24, the Morris Herald-News will become a twice-a-week paper, adding a Tuesday edition to complement it’s weekly Thursday edition.
An informed community is a better community, and nothing can really replace a local newspaper. For all the talk about how the internet and social media have disrupted the old model of delivering the news, no one has yet developed a better way to inform people about their hometown than a local newspaper.
From its convenience of delivery to its breadth of coverage, newspapers have been the best tool for informing a community since Publick Occurrences began printing in Boston in 1690.
Our reporters attend government meetings, community events downtown and at Goold Park and local sporting events. That’s not something you’ll reliably get from social media, blogs or radio sound bites.
The Morris Herald-News has been a part of the community since 1879. The paper has evolved a lot since it’s early days when there were no photographs and local people’s day bass fishing made the front page, but the role it plays in the community is largely the same.
The Morris City Council and other government proceedings where issues like sewers and sidewalks, local schools and recreation, have long been a staple. For more than a century, the local paper has chronicled the births, marriages, baptisms, deaths and important work of members of the community.
(My favorite marriage announcement from one of those old papers reads “The old sinner ought to have been brought under the civilizing influence of calico long ago.” They don’t write them like that anymore.)
Most newspapers are reducing the number of days they print these days. By adding a Tuesday edition, Shaw Media is making an investment in Morris and Grundy County.It’s not the only investment in the region, either. Shaw’s purchase of the Ottawa Times last week from the Small Newspaper Group is giving us more opportunity to provide coverage along the I&M Canal Heritage Corridor.
That means we cover the growing communities that stretch from Joliet to Princeton. It includes larger communities like Morris, Ottawa and Streator, but also the smaller towns in between like Tonica, Lostant, Grand Ridge and Diamond. We’ll be at activities on the Illinois River and in Starved Rock State Park. This is a time and an area for growth.
The Morris Herald-News is growing along with it, and starting in April I look forward to seeing you twice as often.