Editorial: What does it mean to be a hometown newspaper?

By on March 8, 2012

What does it mean to be a hometown newspaper?

It means many things, but the overriding aspect of the term is “service.” As a hometown newspaper, it is our responsibility to serve our communities by helping strengthen the many connections that exist in our communities—the connections between residents and each other, their local governments and schools, as well as businesses and the various organizations that exist.

The responsibility of serving our communities means more than simply changing what a portion of our newspaper looks like for a brief period of time and calling ourselves a locally focused paper.

Rather, it means a long-term commitment of time and effort, a true desire to serve our communities, a relentless focus on attending as many of the meetings, events and activities in order to get to truly know as many of the people and organizations in our communities as humanly possible.

Our mission is to serve as community stewards, providing quality, truly local coverage of the communities that make up the Kaneland School District—Elburn, Sugar Grove, Maple Park and Kaneville—and do so in a manner that demonstrates how media companies can succeed as a business while also holding onto the ethical ideals of objective journalism. We strive to accomplish this mission by not only trying to provide as much local content as we can, but to also do so in a way that is accurate in both fact and context, without sensationalizing and without reporting pure speculation.

Our vision is to be a newspaper that serves to help strengthen the bonds that exist within and among our communities—whether they are person to person, person to organization, or organization to organization. We strive to realize this vision through our reporting, through our involvement in our communities, and through the way we conduct our business.

Our values dictate that we strive to never lose sight of the ideals of true journalism and ethical business practices. We seek and report the truth, and sometimes that makes people look good and sometimes that makes people look not so good, but how someone looks is based on the facts and not on our spin.

We strive to meet these challenges every single day, and there are times when we come up short, and no matter what, we are never satisfied. We always want to do better because we always can do better.

It is that combination of desires for a deeper connection with our communities plus constant improvement to better serve our communities that makes a newspaper a true hometown newspaper.

It is an honor to serve the Kaneland communities as their hometown newspaper, and we are proud to have served our communities since 1908.

We look forward to growing and changing with you in the years and decades ahead.