Formats change, mission remains

While many of you reading this editorial are doing so in the traditional printed format, a growing number of area residents are reading it on an electronic edition that was delivered overnight to your computer, smartphone or tablet.

Delivery formats are certainly changing the way we receive information, and we are sure that the ability to read each page of each day’s newspaper on a device that can be easily carried in a shirt pocket would have left William Lowry and John Miller in awe. At the same time, we are very certain that the pioneers of the newspaper publishing industry would be pleased to know that the new technology would allow their simple desire to give area residents the opportunity to learn the latest news from all parts of the globe to thrive.

It’s appropriate that we remember Lowry and Miller today, because on June 7, 1806, they first published the Western Herald newspaper. A series of mergers and changes in ownership led to their newspaper evolving into the Herald-Star in the late 1800s, and it is their efforts we honor as we begin another year as a continuously published newspaper, one of the oldest in Ohio and the nation.

The Herald-Star is the oldest operating business in Jefferson County, having adapted many times to meet the changes the newspaper industry and our community have experienced. That has ensured that we have been able to meet our simple job of delivering the news of the day from downtown Steubenville to readers across the Tri-State Area and, now, around the globe in an instant.

That would not be possible without the efforts of the many publishers and editors and the countless writers, photographers, production personnel, salespeople, composing room employees, press operators, office workers and distributions workers who have made the newspaper their profession.

We have always stood guard for the freedoms that journalists must have to protect the freedoms of our nation, especially in times like these, when those very freedoms are under assault on many different levels. We continue to stand as a watchdog looking at all levels of government.

We inform voters before they go to the polls and help give a voice to members of our community who too often feel they are overlooked.

The words on our pages have documented the lives of millions of people.

We’ve always reported the good news in their lives – births, graduations, engagements, marriages and anniversaries as well as awards and other recognition. Sadly, we’ve also had to report on crime, divorces and deaths.

Along the way, we’ve become an institution, a vital part of the daily lives of the residents of the Tri-State Area. Our readers have been informed and entertained, made to laugh and made to cry and moved to take action. We have always praised achievement and delivered encouragement, but have never been afraid to take on public officials or the significant issues that have affected our area.

That we remain as vital today as we were when Lowry and Miller published their first edition is simple – our readers have always been able to trust us to report the news fairly and accurately.

It’s a mission we have fulfilled every day since June 7, 1806, and one we will continue to do well into the future – no matter how our readers receive their information.