From the General Manager: Support local journalism |

From the General Manager: Support local journalism

Craig Press General Manager Sheli Steele
File Photo

Writing a column for the newspaper is certainly not in my wheelhouse of comfortable activities.   Simply put, I am not a writer, but the worldwide pandemic has forced a lot of us out of our comfort zones and it is important to address the community.

The coronavirus and the strict but prudent measures officials have taken to protect the public from it have been a blow to the Craig and Moffat County economy.  Businesses have been shuttered.  The operations of others that remain open, such as restaurants, are severely restricted.  Businesses throughout the community are confronting a period of uncertainty.

The Craig Press is no exception.

Like many other local businesses, we find ourselves in a challenging position, just as the advertisers that are our primary source of revenue themselves grapple with the effects of the pandemic and make difficult decisions about their own futures. We understand that marketing budgets are the first to get cut in hard times, but it doesn’t make the impact any less painful.

The Craig Press and previous newspapers have been telling the important stories of Craig and Moffat County from this location since 1920. It would be an understatement to say a lot has changed in the last century.  Our town has seen transportation changes from rail to electric cars, the sheep industry morphed into booming coal mines and natural resource extraction, and now we face the future of the next transition to renewable energy.  The news never stops and neither does the need to keep our community informed. 

Recently, the Craig Press has tackled some hard but important news regarding the reintroduction of wolves and the pending closures of our area coal mines and Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association.  The stories we have told have garnered not only local readers but readers across the country. 

The Craig Press, free to the reader in print and online, enjoys a healthy weekly readership in both mediums while working to close the gap with more effective local online advertising and marketing that the giant Googles and Facebooks and other can provide. 

People that read local news content are more involved with their local communities.  They are more informed and make better-educated decisions. Really, we wouldn’t be able to do this without community support from those that submit letters to the editors, columns, photos and even send news tips.  

I would love the Craig Press to dig deeper into issues that affect our community.  While we’ve done a good job of managing with a two-person newsroom, it’s been exactly that: managing.

And now, more than ever, we need the support of our readers to ensure we’re able to continue providing robust journalism to our community.  Because of this, we have introduced a new function to our website that allows readers to offer donations We continue to be grateful for your story ideas, feedback and support.

All donations will be kept local and allocated to allow for continued editorial purposes only. 

Some may think this is a money-grab to line our big “corporate” pockets. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Whether we receive donations or not, the Craig Press will continue to publish a twice-weekly newspaper.  You don’t have to donate; it’s as simple as that.

So Why Should You Donate?

This company and this staff are passionate about Moffat County and want to give more than we have the capacity to.

The Craig Press is owned by Swift Communications, but readers should know all business decisions are made locally by our staff of four.  We live here. We spend our paychecks in local stores.  Our roots run deep and we can’t imagine a better place to live and raise a family. 

Swift is also no stranger to giving back to the community.  They provide the Bessie Minor Swift scholarship in all markets they serve. In 2017, Moffat County High School agricultural education was the recipient of a portion of the scholarship.

The giving doesn’t stop with Swift.  The Craig Press supports numerous non-profits with tens of thousands of dollars in advertising each year. We have also donated office space, and supported area youth through 4-H and FFA, to name a few.

It isn’t always easy to carve out time from a busy career to give back. But the rewards I have reaped from spending time with second-graders during our Rotary Club’s Book Buddy program and the meaningful work accomplished with Moffat County United Way are great.  Giving back to the community that has shaped who I am today has further fueled my passion for Moffat County.   

The Challenge in our Industry

For years, many newspapers have cut publication days, consolidated to create expense savings, gone to an online paid model or closed down completely. In the last dozen years, 1,800 newspapers have closed and communities suffer without local news. 

This comes at a time local journalism is as relevant as ever with an audience that is bigger than ever. Although we are a free distribution paper, nothing is free.  The newspaper industry has high overhead costs with limited revenue streams. This is why the Craig Press is more than a newspaper.

We have worked hard over the years to diversify our advertising products and offer businesses better solutions. Our goal is to help them grow and succeed.  It is because of these businesses, which invest their hard earned money with us, that you have a free paper published in print every Wednesday and Friday with a website that is updated seven days a week, 365 days a year. For that, I thank every single business that trusts us with their advertising. 

Now, more than ever, the Craig Press needs the support of our readers to ensure we’re able to continue providing robust journalism to our community.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Craig and Moffat County make the Craig Press’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.