By Wayne Gates
It’s hard to believe that we are coming up on two months since the Clermont Sun Publishing Company purchased the News Democrat, Ripley Bee and People’s Defender newspapers.
Since that time, we have been working our way through combining the Sunday papers in Brown County, moving together into one office and generally figuring things out as we go along.
One of the big questions we have tried to answer is how to turn two newspapers that used to compete with each other into two papers that readers will want.
For example, both the News Democrat and the Brown County Press used to publish land transfers, probate and other court information. We have decided to put that information into the News Democrat.
We initially thought to put obituaries into just the News Democrat as well, but that has turned out to be an unpopular decision.
After getting feedback from you, we have decided beginning this week to put any obituary we receive from local funeral homes into both newspapers.
They will run in the next newspaper to publish after we get them and then the one after that. That way, the information will be available quickly to those who want to attend the services, and those who don’t subscribe to the News Democrat will not miss out.
But I will be honest with you. Those who do not subscribe to or purchase the News Democrat will be missing out on some local news.
I have been the editor of the Brown County Press for almost seven years. I have tried to find the best news I can to compete with the News Democrat. But those days are over.
Now, I have to consider the readers of both papers when deciding which stories to put in which paper.
If there is a story of the magnitude of the Pike County shootings or something that strongly affects public interest or public safety, it will be covered in both papers so nobody misses out.
But each paper has been having separate and different news stories. The Brown County Press, News Democrat and Ripley Bee are separate newspapers.
To get the full impact of all the stories that we cover, we invite you to read all three. Yes, there will be some repetition with some of our columnists like Faye Mahaffey or David Dugan.
But you will only find George Rooks and Christine Tailer in the News Democrat. Sherry Mitchell will only be in the Brown County Press.
If someone submits some information that is of interest to the entire county, it may appear in all the papers. If it’s local to Ripley, it may only appear in the Ripley Bee.
As far as the news we report, the front pages of the News Democrat, Ripley Bee and News Democrat had a total of 14 front page stories last week and each paper was completely different. Not one story was repeated in another newspaper.
So if you want the full picture of everything we cover on a weekly basis, we ask you to read each of our papers.
You can also help us by sending us photos that you think others would like to see, announcements about events that are happening, news tips and anything else that you think other people should know about.
With your help, we will make the three newspapers in Brown County into a complete information source.
Send your pictures, information and news tips to info@ browncountypress.com, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will look at everything we get, but we can’t run the same item for multiple weeks.
For example, if an organization has an event at the end of the month, the article will usually appear the week before the event, not at the beginning of the month.
If we get a submission that includes an admission charge or somehow benefits the submitter financially, we may call you and ask you to purchase a small advertisement rather than run the event for free.
We want to help, but we want to stay in business too.
If you have any suggestions of anything you would like to see more (or less) of, call us at (937) 444-3441 or send us an email at the addresses above.
We want to hear from you and we want to continue to build a group of local papers that you will be eager to read each week.