By Kay Wilson
It was March 15, 1996, the Ides of March, when the Nodaway News Leader was born. A weekly newspaper, which would cover the entire Nodaway County happenings, was a new concept to local newspaper readers.
With this edition, on the NNL flag to the left, the volume digit changes to 23, or the Roman numeral of XXIII, and the number begins again at one. What does that mean? This is the beginning of year 23 for this weekly newspaper, which is still a babe in the world of newspapers.
This experiment with the area business market’s promotional plans was considered a long shot to many skeptics. The business climate was in transition from mom-and-pop shops to retail firms that were national brands. The routing of traffic away from Maryville’s Main Street with the opening of the bypass, while creating a more safe pedestrian shopping experience, meant less impulse shopping at Maryville’s stores.
Another facet of advertising Maryville’s opportunities had come into reality in the mid-1990s with the filling of Mozingo Lake. Just try to remember the beginnings of the lake, which was an important clean water source for the town and now the entire county. The development of the many amenities and recreational offerings at the lake compiles a long list. Maryville leaders prioritized the wish list and sold a sales tax to the voters to finance the wants.
The life’s blood of a newspaper is the advertising revenue. The business metrics of newspapering is revenue coming from two sources: advertising and subscription monies. Most of the costs of publishing a newspaper are covered by the advertising money. The actual costs of delivering the paper, primarily the United States Postal Service, are planned to be handled with subscription dollars.
We’ve grown through the years with our news coverage and advertising sales. The success of a newspaper, and especially a weekly newspaper, is the ability to be a mirror-image of the community or communities that it serves. The need for community-journalism is one that will never go out of style, and in fact, many of the large metro-based newspapers are trying to mimic the weekly with their relationship to readers and businesses.
So, the challenges that we have faced here at the NNL are far from being completed. New opportunities are possible with each paper’s printing.