130 years of serving the community

By: 
Chuck Kajer, The New Prague Times

September 6 marks a big anniversary for this newspaper.
It was on that date, in 1889, that the first edition of The New Prague Times was published. New Prague was a growing community whose population had nearly tripled, from 384 in 1880 to 955 in 1890. It was becoming a center of commerce and agricultural production.
The newspaper meant a great deal to the young community. It gave businesses a place to advertise its goods and services, it let towns people know what was going on in the community, in the county and in the state. In a time when there was no radio, TV or internet, it was the primary source of information for most households.
Over the years, newer forms of communication have arrived… first via the radio, then the TV, then cable TV. In the last 30 years, the internet has become a primary source of information for many. Still, we believe newspapers play an important role.
And even with this new technology, newspapers have evolved. Most have their own websites and Facebook pages, including The Times. We continue to be the best, most reliable and most accurate source of information for the community. As we were told once during a workshop on adopting digital platforms, we are no longer in the “newspaper” business, we are in the news business. When news happens, we can get reliable information online in a matter of minutes - reliable, verified news, not the rumors you see on social media.
Many small towns - and some big cities - have struggled with this change. Several weekly newspapers in Minnesota have closed their doors because advertising support and readership have dropped to a level that can no longer support them. Residents and public officials in these communities have lamented these closures.
The Times has felt these economic pressures, but we believe that as a locally-owned newspaper committed to serving the community, we can continue to serve our community. In our pages, you’ll find stories about what’s going on in the city and schools, features on local people, local businesses and local organizations and more. Our editorial page serves as a forum for people who want to share ideas and concerns about the community, our obituary page chronicles the lives of community members who have passed. Our sports pages follow our local teams and athletes. Our classified ad pages serve as a marketplace for people to buy or sell products, look for employment or advertise services. Our Public Notices page inform people as to what is going on with local government agencies.
This week, we conclude our 130th year of serving New Prague. Next week, we begin year 131. We plan to stick around for awhile.

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