THERE have been some incredible events and changes in the world since the Rotherham Advertiser was first published on January 1, 1858.
For a start there was no television back then. Radio wasn’t broadcasting. People didn’t have phones in their homes. The world was changing though and inquiring minds were keen to find out what was going on, not just in their borough but across the world.
Since then, of course, we’ve had Teletext, videos, DVDs, CDs, computers and, with them, social media in its various forms. All of which have meant people demand their information be brought to them quickly and in a way they can access it as easily as possible.
It’s worth remembering in this, Local Newspaper Week 2018, that the Rotherham Advertiser has had to adapt to every twist and turn and, while many businesses in the town have perished due to the forces of change, we are still very much here — and we’re here in numerous forms.
As well as the Advertiser in printed format, plus our free papers the Record and the Weekender, we have a website that brings you breaking news, plus Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. While the price of the paper has increased over the years — it’s still cheaper than most — all our social media comes with it at no extra cost.
In all our forms we highlight issues readers would not otherwise know about, from planning applications to local authority wrong-doings, details of what’s going on in the local sports-scene to the simpler things in life, such as the date and time of a coffee morning or church service.
Our sales alone do not fund the well researched journalism, which aims to fight the people of Rotherham’s corner in an increasingly difficult world.
We have our advertisers to thank for enabling us to continue to do this — some of whom have been with us for decades. While our coverage of the town, its sports teams, its charities etc expands, the advertising from local businesses unfortunately does not, which can restrict our pagination and sometimes mean we cannot cover certain events.
Sometimes businesses put their money elsewhere, yet research shows local newspapers are easily the most trusted source of information providers as we do not print fake news.
We allow our readers the right to comment on our social media sites — where else would they get this freedom?
Local newspapers are about democracy, providing a platform for the population they represent to voice their opinions, holding local authorities to account when our readers don’t believe they have been served well.
Clearly, we need people to buy the paper and to take out advertising to enable us to continue to provide this platform for readers and local businesses.
It’s a message that we do not ram down the throats of readers, but in Local Newspaper Week it does seem appropriate. We need you and you need us.