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July 17, 2018

Support News for Our Town

We started this little venture in late 2015, (by “we,” I mean a supportive family and generous friends) because there seemed to be a vacuum of accurate information. From the town government to the school board to the small but growing business community. I had journalism in my background, and at the time had lived in rural Luther for a few years. I thought maybe I could help! There were so many stories to tell about our neighbors, our history and our hopes for the future. There are still so many stories to tell.

Looking back at our first story, when we coined the Luther Register 2.0 and all of the things we covered right out of the gate from a contentious town board AND school board meetings, football playoffs and more, it’s interesting to note how our town has changed in just a couple of years. And who knows what is coming our way? (We’ll be there!)

Someone recently said that “journalism” is having a moment. I think that means that you and I are smart enough to spot fake news and information that is too far away and too irrelevant to our lives. We have cut through the noise and realized that the “world” we need to care about and that we can do something about, is right here at home. From learning about zoning ordinances, to how the water and sewer system works and is funded, to the importance of our elected officials following Open Meetings laws (and all laws), your local news is there. It’s the Luther Register, the namesake of the original newspaper of Luther begun in 1899. It cost $1 a year to subscribe back then.

Beth and I were chitchatting about politics, when I finally mentioned that I do this online paper in Luther! Then she told me her name, and I recognized her as one of our very first monthly donors! We had never met in real life! THANKS BETH!

Gone, for the most part, is getting the morning newspaper thrown in your yard or being home in time for the local news on TV around dinner time or bedtime. We consume news differently. The Luther Register is online. Some of you get an email whenever we post a story. (My apologies if your phone dings late at night with a notification). And some see our posts on social media, mostly Facebook. We are beholden to FB, our virtual “paper boy” that controls the flow and grabs most of the advertising dollars. It’s a new world, as my fellow members at LION know. We are blazing a new trail to provide local news with a business model that supports us. My dream is to have more writers on a payroll (a webmaster and sales staff wouldn’t hurt either), to grow The Luther Register, and maybe even duplicate it in our neighboring towns. (We’re looking at you … Arcadia, Wellston, Jones, Harrah).

Have you watched a meeting via our page on FB Live? Have you commented on a story? Did you participate in our candidate forum? Take part in the Pecan Festival? Have you learned something? Was it helpful to have us on scene when there’s a wreck, a fire or shooting nearby so we can zero in on the information that affects you directly? I hope so. Are we perfect? Nope! I am grateful to you all as editors, and being willing to set me straight.

What’s it worth to you? One of my beloved journalism professors has a great speech to encourage news consumers to support news (because he wants us all to be gainfully employed, of course). Sparing the guilt-trip, consider whether you will support news that is LOCAL for Luther. We have supporters who give us $5 a month or $50 a year. Some give more. Some give what they can.

Other options are advertising, or sponsored content like this or this.

Interested? Here is a secure Pay-Pal option, or you can send a donation to: Luther Register, PO Box 311, Luther, OK 73054. Or find me in town, or at a meeting!