Dear Jack Tarkington,
It’s always good to hear from one of Paris’ former city managers. We miss your “Middle-Aged Musings” columns that ended almost a decade ago.
But I’ve got four problems with your letter (above).
First of all, you make it sound like only very old people read printed newspapers, while research is showing, at least for small community newspapers like ours, that people in their 30s and 40s begin buying and subscribing to read printed newspapers — while probably still getting local information from our website, plus through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Of course, you’re technically right, since someone as young as 30 still falls into your definition of “relics … who are 20th century vintage,” since they’d have been born in 1991, which is part of the 20th century.
Second, you refer to two unfortunate events in Henry County and add, “I would think either would warrant a headline in a local newspaper. Apparently, I am wrong.”
No, you were right. And we gave both of them not only headlines, but also front-page headlines.
We usually get criticized for putting “unfortunate events” on the top half of the front page. We think this is a first for us, being criticized for putting them “below the fold.”
Third, you disparage Arts ’Round the Square as not being worthy of a feature photograph at the top of the front page.
This long-running arts celebration featured more than 50 artists, as well as musicians from the Jackson Symphony and the University of Tennessee at Martin and actors from Bethel University performing.
It drew big crowds Saturday, so we felt it was certainly worth a large, top-of-the-page feature picture.
Many of our readers tell us they are enjoying those large photographs; we’re certainly sorry you aren’t.
Fourth, you say newspapers are dying, and we most certainly disagree with that!
While it’s true that newspapers in cities the size of Jackson and larger are struggling, the small community newspapers are doing just fine, and many are growing and thriving.
We have over the years added the non-print ways, listed above, for readers to be able to get our local information — and that was in response to our readers’ requests.
But this is our 156th year of doing business in Paris and Henry County — we’re proud to be the oldest commercial business in Henry County — and we don’t see any prospect of that ending for the next 156 years!
You said you read our obituaries to make sure you’re not yet listed there. We believe you’re trying to write our obituary way, way, way too early.
MICHAEL WILLIAMS is editor and publisher of The Post-Intelligencer. His email address is email@example.com.