I love talking with farmers about the news.
That’s because most farmers are pretty smart. It takes a lot of work, effort and knowledge to run a farm. And smart business decisions.
On a recent, rainy Saturday morning, I visited a couple of farmers who are gracious enough to let me hunt on their land each fall. One of them, an elderly man who lives near Mitchell, is a longtime subscriber of The Daily Republic.
With a package of fresh fish to be delivered, I figured our conversation upon my arrival would be about the outdoors, and of course, farming.
Instead, it was about the news — the news of the Mitchell Republic, now formerly known as The Daily Republic.
After knocking on the door, here’s how the conversation went.
“Morning, sir. It’s Luke Hagen. You let me do some hunting last fall and I just wanted to drop by and say thanks.”
“Oh, I know who you are. I think of you every morning I don’t get a newspaper. I’m not really happy about that.”
Ugh. After a couple of weeks of phone calls, getting bombarded by upset readers and subscribers, of our decision to drop three print days, now I was hearing it on a Saturday morning trying to do something nice.
“Yeah, I’m sorry. It was a decision made because of the coronavirus. We’re still putting out the news each day. Do you have your online registration activated on your computer?”
“I can help you with that.”
With invitation, I proceeded into his home, logged onto his laptop and set up his online account. I showed him the E-edition, which is an online replica of our paper. I explained to him it’s made every day, with local copy put in it six days per week. I showed him that the text size can be zoomed in for optimal reading.
“This looks pretty nice,” he said, easing off his frustrated tone. “I can deal with this.”
That story is absolutely true, and I believe it shows the successful future of how people will adapt and accept the way news is delivered to them.
And just like our readers dealing with the changes, we at the newspaper are as well. With that, there are a few items of note worth discussing.
The name of our newspaper is now the Mitchell Republic. The flag on the front page of our paper today looks different with three triangles, representing Forum Communications Company, our parent organization. The three triangles make up an arrow to represent our commitment to moving forward. We are in the middle of a digital transformation in the news industry, and we are embracing the future of news.
We’ve been asked repeatedly whether we’re going back to printing more days of the newspaper. We are not. We will be printing Wednesdays and Saturdays (a day earlier when a holiday falls on one of those days), and consistently delivering 24/7 news online.
Because of that, we’re encouraging all readers to activate their online membership. There really are a lot of benefits, such as our E-edition, unlimited and uninterrupted access to all of our online content — including all of our sites across the FCC news network, and the ability to sign up for newsletters. We even have a sports newsletter, and we all know how many sports fanatics there are around Mitchell.
Remember, all of this is available to you at no additional cost if you already subscribe to our newspaper. Just go to mitchellrepublic.com/activate. If you’re having troubles, call us and we’ll help the best we can.
Look, change is inevitable in life. Throughout history, there have been periods when adaptation has made life easier and more efficient. Let’s go back to agriculture and consider computerized tractors and combines. Sure, it probably was a pain to learn how to operate at first, but now? It’s just part of everyday life for most farmers. Press a few buttons and the wheels start turning.
That’s what we’re asking from you, our readers. Each morning, press a few buttons and get the news.
Maybe he was just being nice that day, but I’ve already changed the mind of one farmer who was seemingly set in his ways. That’s got to be worth something, right?