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Herald-Star still a vital institution

You might not realize it, but the newspaper you are reading today has a legacy that is more than 200 years old.

Today, we mark our 215th anniversary as a continuously published newspaper, one of Ohio’s oldest.

Many changes, in our community and in the newspaper industry, have occurred since William Lowry and John Miller launched the Western Herald on Saturday, June 7, 1806. Their paper, through a series of mergers and changes in ownership, became the Herald-Star in the late 1800s.

Lowry and Miller probably could never have imagined how their newspaper has changed. From the development of the telegraph, which helped to speed the flow of news; to high-speed presses, which allowed thousands of copies of each day’s edition to be printed in a short amount of time; to the Internet, and the ability of newspaper journalists to be able to immediately share their work with readers anywhere in the world; and to mobile platforms, which allow readers to access the newspaper on a phone or tablet, the Herald-Star has expanded and adapted, all the while striving to ensure that the news of the day has made it from downtown Steubenville to your hands.

That’s a testament to the many publishers and editors and the countless reporters, writers, photographers, production personnel, salespeople, composing room workers, pressmen, office workers, distribution workers and a dedicated corps of paper boys and paper girls who have made the paper their profession.

We’re the oldest business in Jefferson County, and always have stood guard for the freedoms that journalists must have to protect the freedom of the nation. We ensure that voters are informed before they head to the polls, make sure that government does not run roughshod over those who have elected it and are vigilant to make sure residents do not violate the rules and laws of our community.

We have become an institution, a vital part of the daily lives of residents of the Tri-State Area. Our readers have been informed and entertained, made to laugh and cry and been moved to action. While we praise achievements and deliver encouragement, we have never been afraid to take on public officials or issues that are of paramount importance to the community.

Our pages have recorded the milestones in the lives of millions of people. We have shared in their joy over births, graduations, engagements, promotions, marriages and anniversaries. We understand the heartache they have felt when they have touched by crime, divorces, sickness and deaths.

We live in an age where that type of reporting is not always appreciated, where people turn to social media and other places for “news” that comes from unattributed sources and that might or might not be accurate and truthful.

While that might be fashionable, the professional journalists at the Herald-Star work hard each and every day to get their facts straight, try to be as fair as possible, clearly separate reporting in news stories from opinions shared on editorial pages and, yes, correct mistakes when they are made.

That’s what has allowed the Herald-Star to remain as vital to our community as when Lowry and Miller published their first edition 215 years ago, and it’s why our readers have been able to place their trust in us to report the news accurately and fairly.

It’s a mission we have fulfilled every day since 1806, and one we will continue to strive to meet today, tomorrow and beyond.

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