Change is constant, but future is strong

The news hit all of us with a thud.

As word spread through the Tribune Chronicle newsroom Friday afternoon, the reaction repeated over and over by members of newsroom staff and co-workers throughout our building was simple — shock and disbelief.

The people at The Vindicator, our worthy opponents in news coverage for decades, soon would be out of work.

The newspaper based in Youngstown that has been covering local news every day for 150 years — and still doing it well — will close its doors and shutter its operations Aug. 31. Vindicator executives broke the news to their employees late Friday afternoon.

We’ve been hearing for years about changes in the newspaper industry nationwide and around the globe. But the sting of this news hit close to home because those being affected are our friends. Some of these folks previously worked at the Tribune Chronicle alongside our staff. They are the reporters and photographers we have stood beside on the front lines of crime scenes, sat beside in city council meetings and froze with on the sidelines of frosty late-season high school football games.

Not only have we been friends and colleagues, but our competition helped to make each of us better for many years.

But just like all business, our industry is changing. Surely, that is to be expected.

Dating back to 1812, the Tribune Chronicle’s lineage makes us what is believed to be the second-oldest newspaper in Ohio.

Through all those years, the Tribune Chronicle has continued to gather important local news of the day, organize it for our readers and then present it on a regular basis to those wanting to stay informed about their communities. That is not about to end in the foreseeable future.

Today, though, we also have evolved into a multimedia marketing company, interacting every day with more people in a broader geographical scope than ever before. Our reporting of the news today is immediate — right down to the minute via www.tribtoday.com. We also share information through social media, post videos and slideshows of images. That just gives our readers new choices about how they want to read our newspaper every morning and throughout the day.

Choices and change are not a bad thing! And competition still will remain constant.

In fact, there is more competition in the news business today than ever before. That’s because readers wanting to explore any topic can, at the tap of a finger, find dozens or more stories. Some of that reading material may come via sources that are reputable — like the stories you read in the Tribune Chronicle with attribution, multiple verifiable sources and bylines containing the names and contacts for the writer. Others, unfortunately, may be comprised of opinions mimicking objective news stories, published on blogs or fly-by-night “news” websites that quote made-up or unverifiable “facts” serving as “click bait.”

It’s for that exact reason that I have faith in what I do each day and in what my staff produces. And it’s for that reason that I can assure you that the need for media organizations like the Tribune Chronicle will remain constant. We will continue to fill that need and report the news with the same voracity as always.

We will continue to gather, organize and report all your local news, without fail. It will continue to be our goal to inform, engage and entertain all our readers.

We will strive to ensure that the Tribune Chronicle remains relevant. Yes, change is constant, but our future is strong. We will continue to gather the news, dig into important issues of the day, share information, entertain and broaden the knowledge of our readers — just like we have done consistently for that last 207 years.

Let me assure you with the utmost confidence, we still are thriving, and we aren’t going anywhere.