From the Editor's desk

Beth Welbers
Geneseo Republic
Beth Welbers editor Henry County Republic

I marked an anniversary just a few weeks ago. I've been editing the Henry County Republic for one year. I hope the readers have seen an improvement since I sat down in this desk a year ago in November. I have actively tried to include as many communities as I can, and include as much local news that isn't covered by the larger news outlets.

Trying to create a single community paper out of the four combined papers has not been easy. Many of the readers were unhappy by the reduced content regarding their own community. I can tell you it was not fun to answer a call, only to have someone on the other end of the line telling you that you personally ruined their newspaper by allowing it to be merged. Especially your first week. But that is how small papers survive in the increasingly digital world.

The Republic has maintained the group of talented correspondents, that many of you became familiar with and trusted. Claudia Loucks, Mindy Carls and Carol Townsend are the backbone of this paper. During the height of the pandemic, Tom Akers, Dan Dauw, Claudia and Mindy pulled together to create a sports section, when there were no sports being played anywhere. They all tried to give the Class of 2020, the recognition they didn't get with the Season that Never Was. 

That said, in the time that Gannett has owned the Republic, under the website the, we have tried to make greater strides in keeping the material on the site relevant and timely. Those who do read the online version will notice in the upper right hand corner, an offer of 6 months for $1. The implementation of content available only to subscribers will be occurring in the near future.

That said, let me make a case for subscribing to your local paper. Once the internet age began, newspapers nationwide miscalculated when they provided all of their content for free. Meanwhile, that same internet ate into print advertising and consequently revenue. The pandemic has accelerated that downturn as it has hurt all businesses. In the past 20 years, the number of surviving publications has significantly dwindled.  Most local dailies now will give 5 articles for free before requiring subscription access. And likely the same will occur with the Republic. 

We realize that we will report on some news that you can get from other news outlets. But our "subscriber only" content will most often be stories that provide a level of detail that can't be matched by competitors. My correspondents and I are in your communities, and know your concerns.

Your support through a digital subscription helps ensure that we can continue to cover what matters most to you locally , highlight the positives in our community and keep a watch on what your  elected officials are doing. It has been my mission since I took the job to use the position to help educate readers on what and why things are going on in their community.

Many readers find that a digital subscription is more affordable than a print subscription. And the digital plan comes with our e-edition, which shows you exactly what the paper looks like and allows you to read the stories as they appear in print. If you already have a print subscription, you have online access. All that needs to be done is to activate an online account via email. That will allow out of towners to get their local paper without having the post office forward, and waiting for the mail.

I look forward to more anniversaries with Henry County and the people I have had the pleasure to meet and serve here.  

Beth Welbers

Contract Editor

Henry County Republic