A ‘free press’ is driven by your support
Our readers do not need to be reminded that community news sources like the Livingston County News are vital to keeping people informed and up-to-date.
Our readers know that we stir civic pride by recognizing excellence in school, in sports, in business, and in service. They understand that we expose crime, patrol rumors and hold the powerful to account. Most of all, we serve as a central record of Livingston County’s recent past — and will forever be a part of its historical record.
Our advertisers know that being associated with a loyal readership can help drive foot traffic to their doors. Our ads work because they’re printed next to interesting stories that draw thousands of loyal readers every week.
When local businesses market themselves in the County News, or one of our print or online competitors, they’re supporting a tradition in journalism that goes back to the days of Philadelphia publisher Benjamin Franklin, who was responsible for another small town tradition.
Franklin helped establish America’s first volunteer fire department in 1736. His department was the first that didn’t ask homeowners to sign contracts to guarantee protection. If your house was burning, the Union Fire Company of Philadelphia would put it out, no questions asked.
Big cities like Philadelphia today usually hire a full-time staff of big responders, but Franklin’s public service tradition lives on in rural New York, and we’re proud to continue telling its story.
Our readers know that fire department coverage is something we do quite well — as we should with two volunteer firefighters on staff. We not only follow the 911 calls, but also cover parades, raffles, awards ceremonies and other special events. Ben Franklin would be proud to see how two of his projects have remained so closely entwined in the past 275 years.
The Firemen’s Association of the State of New York has launched a multi-million dollar marketing campaign to recruit new members, and it has hired an Albany-based marketing firm to place ads on television and on the Internet, and radio stations.
Where you won’t see the ads is in your hometown newspaper or one of the local news websites. The New York Press Association asked why and learned that this agencies doesn’t believe that the young people they’re trying to recruit don’t follow community news anymore. They’re more likely to be found on Facebook or Twitter.
The FASNY campaign will largely be seen in urban markets with fully-staffed “professional” fire departments which are less reliant on volunteer help. (I put “professional” in quotes because I would stack the abilities of any of our well-trained volunteer firefighters in Livingston County up against a full-time firefighter any day.)
As you read our paper, you see stories about your friends and neighbors — and advertising from local companies and organizations who depend on your patronage. We hope you’ll take note of which businesses are speaking directly to your needs — and not to some abstract demographic data cooked up by an Albany marketing firm.
If you value fire protection, please donate to your neighborhood fire department — and if you have the time, please volunteer.