When I first started at the small, community newspaper in my Alabama hometown, the challenge was to produce a printed newspaper a couple times per week.
Times have changed, and community newspapers have changed as well. Today, we have text alerts, mobile websites, computer websites, podcasts, Facebook, YouTube channels, magazines and other services all designed to share information you need and want.
The News-Graphic has adjusted to the times and now we sell digital advertising which targets very specific geographic areas and shoppers looking for specific items. That smart phone of yours offers a wealth of information and now we can mine that information to help advertisers find consumers interested in their specific wares and services.
Something unheard of when I first began years ago is a broadcast studio inside a newspaper, but the News-Graphic now has a small video studio in its newsroom. Over the last two years we have used Facebook Live to broadcast live news events, including forums and news conferences. For three years we have been broadcasting Coach’s Shows for football, basketball and spring sports. These shows have grown in popularity, and have been honored with state awards.
In the weeks to come, the News-Graphic will be taking several new and historic steps that we hope you will find exciting.
This Friday, Nov. 30, the News-Graphic will live stream the basketball game between Kentucky’s top-ranked Scott County High School Cardinals and fifth-ranked Ballard Bruins. Our sports editor Kal Oakes will provide the play-by-play with television personality Lanny Brannock providing color commentary. Clint Goins and News-Graphic videographer James Scogin will be providing support.
The game will be broadcast on our website www.news-graphic. com and is the first of 11 Games of the Week broadcasts scheduled this year. We have a tentative schedule set with six broadcasts featuring the top-ranked Cardinals and five featuring the fifth-ranked SCHS Lady Cards.
We have a first-rate team in place for the broadcast, and we believe this is just the beginning of something very special.
Early in 2019, the News-Graphic will hold the world premiere of “Leader of the Pack,” a documentary on Scott County High School’s own Billy Hicks, Kentucky’s winningest high school basketball coach and one of the nation’s winningest high school basketball coaches. James Scogin has written, directed and filmed most of the documentary but he has also secured some legendary clips of historic moments in SCHS basketball and Hicks’ history.
Details on the premiere are still being worked out, but we hope to share it early next year. DVDs will also be on sale soon.
I don’t know many community newspapers that have produced a documentary of this kind, so we believe this is going to be pretty special.
Another unique magazine is also in the planning stages and we hope to publish next year. This magazine will be different than anything we currently publish, and we are bringing in lots of specialized talent to make it special for Scott County and the entire Bluegrass region.
Our website, www.news-graphic.com, remains Scott County’s most popular and most visited website and will be getting lots of attention as we move forward. The live streaming events are just a part of some additions and improvements we have planned in the weeks and months ahead. Our mobile website will also be receiving some attention as we recognize it has become your “go to” source for news on the go.
As for the News-Graphic, itself, we will continue to publish a newspaper of which this community can be proud. Our focus remains on producing a quality community newspaper. As part of that ongoing effort I am proud to announce beginning soon we will republish some of George Lusby’s famous “Crawfish and Minnows” columns on a weekly basis. We have over 25 years worth of columns in our archives and George has agreed to occasionally drop in a new one when the mood hits. I think this is a perfect time to bring back a column filled with home-spun common sense and caring in a world that has gotten pretty harsh.
The world is changing and while more and more people are getting their news from smart phones, print is alive and well and we believe continues to provide an important service.
At one time, community newspapers published only printed products. That has changed, and I hope you will agree the News-Graphic has changed with the times. Historically, the News-Graphic has never been afraid to try new things, and the events I mentioned above are more examples how we are pushing the envelope and finding ways to serve you, our community, better. But we are also reminded that our primary purpose is to be the very best source of information about all things Scott County.
Mike Scogin can be reached at MScogin@news-graphic.com.