Here’s the first Our View commentary of the new year. 

We look forward to the holidays and all they bring – we’ve participated in some wonderful local events, been impressed by some successful programs, enjoyed shopping in our friendly and lively retail shops, had some great food and get-togethers.

But we’re also looking forward to getting into the new year. We’re a small operation and, like any small business, we’re now and then buffeted by various market forces. We must adapt, and we do our best. Regardless, we’re looking at doing some things better.

Before we go further, we want to take this opportunity to thank you. Thank you for reading our news and feature stories. Thank you for reading the advertisements, which, along with your subscription rates, pay the salaries that support dozens and dozens of households. Thanks for helping us out by supplying us with comments, letters to the editor, suggestions and tips. Thanks for letting us know when we could be doing something better. Thanks, too, for letting us know what you appreciate about us – we’re often pleasantly surprised by the positive comments we hear and can’t tell you how much those mean to us.

We believe in what we do, which is journaling the lives of our communities. We have found over our decades of experience that the general readership comes to appreciate that endeavor, too, though sometimes we all forget. Critics have been predicting the demise of newspapers for so long that each new generation since the invention of the radio thinks they’re calling the game on us. Radio didn’t do us in, neither did TV, or the Internet ... oh, we’re much leaner than we’ve been in many decades. But our essential parts are still in good working order. 

We’ve been trimming back, not fading away, and trolls be damned.

Our business probably includes more facets than most businesses – we gather and write; we edit and put words on pages; we sell and create advertisements; we rely on our business office to keep things in check; we send our electronic pages to a plate-room that provides plates to the press operation, which relies on one of the most wonderful mechanical machines invented; we have a mailroom that puts our products together; we have a circulation department that has been making daily deliveries here about as long as the Postal Service. And we have the electronic side of all that.

The evolutions that our trade has gone through are amazing.

Things are going to keep changing. If you don’t like changes, we’re sorry. And if we make changes that don’t work for our customers, we’ll try over again to get it right if it’s possible. The electronic age has been a tough nut to crack for us. But we’ll keep trying. And we’ll succeed.

We’re the oldest living daily newspaper in the state of California. But we don’t care... we’re not old. We’re as new as any newspaper that wants to thrive. 

It’s just this, folks: We have made so many adjustments to the market we find ourselves in that, we admit, we may have been a bit punch-drunk now and then. But we’re done with that. We’re coaching up new staff members, we’re building redundancies into how we handle production, we’re cross-training so that our smaller staff can continue to provide solid batting no matter what the game brings.

Competition? Bring it on. Social media proves only that we’re needed more than ever. We plan on being here for a good long time. We’re tired of being timid about what tomorrow will bring ... we’re planning on competing for whatever the next technological, market-driven, or cultural-based change comes along.

Thanks again for subscribing. Stick with us.

Our View editorials represent the opinion of the Appeal-Democrat and its editorial board and are edited by the publisher and/or editor. Members of the editorial board include: Publisher Glenn Stifflemire and Editor Steve Miller.

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