We're excited and happy in my company — EO Media Group — to be adding four more Oregon newspapers to our family of publications.
Our initial purchase of the La Grande Observer and Baker City Herald solidified our ability to serve the northeastern quarter of Oregon. And finalizing acquisition this month of the Bend Bulletin and Redmond Spokesman extends our reach to include the remarkably vibrant communities of central Oregon.
All this investment in the future of journalism may strike some observers as a bit bold. After all, there have been years of boring commentary about how newspapers are dying.
Just about every industry you can name has been transformed in the past 20 years by an explosion of digital technology, the Internet and e-commerce, automation, international trade and other factors. It's a scary time to be in business — if you're not nimble and adaptable.
If you are nimble and adaptable, as my company is, it's both possible and fun to ride the crest of change and seek out opportunities. Investing millions in new assets — of which talented people and the communities they serve are the most important parts — is always anxiety-provoking. But letting fear get in the way of seizing opportunities is a path toward obsolescence and irrelevance.
Someone said capitalism is about the mutual creation of wealth rather than the pillaging of it, and this ultimately is woven into any good media company's approach to its newspapers. Too many corporations have regarded newspapers as targets to be pillaged — physical assets are sold off, personnel are laid off, and communities are left with publications that are mere hollowed out shells. In these zombies, superficial news is packaged to wrap around advertising.
Our philosophy is 180 degrees different from that of the corporate pillagers. We know vibrant publications that serve the interests of local people create wealth for us all. Our expansion into other markets in Oregon translates into a long-term commitment to strong, independent reporting and leadership, coupled with intelligent and effective marketing services for local businesses and institutions.
The ways in which we deliver news, features, photos and commentary will continue to evolve. Even so, it's possible we will will be producing physical newspapers for many decades to come — there's something special about leafing through a tangible newspaper. At the same time, we're constantly expanding our digital presence. Videos, fast notices about breaking news, third-party social media sites and other mechanisms all enhance EO Media's ability to serve our constituents.
Underlying these new bells and whistles is our profound belief in the mission of telling your stories and digging out all the news that affects you. We are about people. That will never change.