Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Opinion

March 27, 2013

Something about the feel of a newspaper

Corsicana — In some ways, the summer of 1992 hardly seems more than 20 years in the past. On a hot day in late summer that year, I interviewed in the circulation office at the Daily Sun after answering to an ad that asked two simple questions: Do you like high school football, and do you want to earn extra money?

My first football game story would be written in a make-shift office on North Beaton after a fire damaged the Daily Sun after that interview, displacing its employees for five months. I still remember driving home from work in Mabank, seeing smoke on the horizon, and turning to KAND to hear Bob Belcher report on the fire.

The fact that Bob now works for the Daily Sun, and I now sit in the publisher’s chair, may qualify as two of the more unique changes at the newspaper in the last 20 years. They are hardly the most drastic.

Bob and myself aside, the Daily Sun has changed since the year “Unforgiven” won the Oscar for Best Picture, Amy Fisher shot Joey Buttafuocco’s wife in the face and then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton said, “It’s the economy, stupid.”

One solid constant remains: When it comes to delivering local news, the Daily Sun is the No. 1 source for folks in Navarro County.

While my career with the Daily Sun may have started innocently enough as a “stringer” 20 1/2 years ago, my love affair with the newspaper began well before that. Before the Saturday edition and before Ketric Sanford, Navarro national championships in football (twice) and baseball, and before any of Todd Wills’ three runs with the paper, I was the kid racing out of the front door on Sunday mornings, sometimes over ice, to read the Sunday Morning Quarterback front to back. I didn’t know it at the time, but Dick Gibbs and Mike Montfort and David G. Campbell were indirectly training me for the industry in which I’d develop a career.

As a kid, and even those early years as a stringer, the print edition of the Daily Sun was it. Married in 1992, I can remember sitting in my apartment, waiting on the “thump” when the Daily Sun would hit my door, and I could catch up on what was going on.

Today, it’s more like a beep. Or a blip. Or a bird whistle. Whatever noise your cellphone makes.

Yes, lots has changed since the interview, the fire, even the promotions that led me to where I am today. Technology has made delivery of news a multi-platform endeavor. If Holden Grounds throws a no-hitter tomorrow, you will not have to wait until the paper comes out to read about it.

There is Facebook and Twitter. News is updated around the clock on our website, www.corsicanadailysun.com.

But, the Daily Sun in print is still here, still magical to those of us who grew up with a newspaper in our hands. I continue to meet people all the time who tell me they still prefer their news in, well, the newspaper. Even Tuesday, at a luncheon where U.S. Congressman Joe Barton spoke, the veteran lawman told me he prefers to hold his newspaper the old fashioned way, spread over the pages of newsprint between his outstretched arms.

The day will come when news is no longer delivered in the traditional newspaper format. I continue to believe it will not happen in my lifetime, and I also believe it when I tell people papers like this one will make it much longer than our big metropolitan brethren.

Local news still means something in smalltowns like ours, where tradition still counts for something. The Daily Sun is closing in on 118 years of providing news, and despite what advances have been made, all 118 have included the version you can turn one page at a time.

•••

On a side note, the aforementioned Todd Wills will end his third stint with the Daily Sun next week. Todd came on as a sports writer right after I was hired as a stringer in ’92, so in many ways our careers began at the same time.

In my mind, Todd will always be in select company. He is one of three people I still credit for being where I am today. There other two are Rob Ludwig, who along with Todd helped craft my writing skills as a young stringer, and Gary Connor, the former publisher of the Daily Sun and a man I still call on for advice.

Todd will still be around, often serving as a correspondent for the Daily Sun. Good luck, Todd. I’ll see you at The Ballpark.

——————

Raymond Linex II is publisher of the Corsicana Daily Sun. His column appears on Thursdays. Want to “Soundoff” on his column? Email: soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com

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