Last week I was tasked with the duty of putting together the 175th anniversary of The Times Bulletin. While it was a lot of work digging through history, finding photos, and putting the whole thing together, it was also a lot of fun and a big learning experience. I really enjoyed putting it together and was proud of what I had created.

After I uploaded the history story online earlier this week (which took me a lot of time to put together), I received a very shocking comment that claimed that The Times Bulletin is not a local paper. I was really perplexed by what that meant. I’m not sure how the paper could get more local unless I began reporting directly from readers’ back yards about the happenings of their wet grass (we’ve pretty much even done that with all the recent flooding).

The only thing I could think of by the claim that we are “not local” was that we are owned by DHI Media, a Delphos company… but even still, Delphos is pretty local as far as I’m concerned. Part of Delphos is in Van Wert County. DHI Media, in fact, is far more of a local company than when Brown Publishing owned the paper before 2010. Our current owner, Murry Cohen, has lived in Delphos most of his life. That’s pretty local. We’re even printed locally in Delphos. With Brown, we were printed in Piqua, which I would not consider local.

The eight people who work at The Times Bulletin all live in the area, and most of us have for our entire lives. We no longer run national news in the paper; every single piece of content in the newspaper is either written by Jim Langham, Reid Maus (or his sports stringers), Sherry Missler, or myself, or submitted by someone locally in regards to a community meeting or a piece of community news. Every event in the paper is usually well within driving distance.

Needless to say, after I thought about all of this, I’m still trying to figure out what someone would mean by the claim that we are not a local newspaper.

Anyway, I still had a lot of fun putting the 175th section together. It was a great leap back into history, especially when I was able to pull out really old newspapers and see what was going on back in those days.

It was also funny for me to find all the errors in the old papers. If people think I’m bad at catching errors, they ought to pull out an old newspaper and give it a read! At least back in those days they had more employees and dedicated proof readers. We’re all human, and no matter how hard I (or other writers) try, we will always make mistakes. Unfortunately, there is no piece of technology (currently) that makes people perfect. If there is, please let me know about it!

Lately I’ve been using the motto, “local journalism matters” a lot. I really believe that, especially after going through The Times Bulletin’s 175 years of dedication to the community. Often, papers are the first to write down history. They, hopefully, help keep politicians and business people honest. Local papers tell the stories that most would never hear about otherwise; The New York Times isn’t writing about a high school kid in Van Wert County who obtained a college degree, I can promise you that. We are very, very much a local paper and hopefully we will continue to write history as it happens and tell the stories of people in the community for a long time to come.