The new year is here and the big question looms: What lies ahead for our community in 2009? Well, folks, who really knows? “Lions and tigers and bears? Oh,My!”  ‘Oh, my!’ is right. So many questions and so few answers about the future as the new year approaches. The war(s), the economy, unemployment, the environment. Just a few of our ever present concerns and preoccupations clouding otherwise bright, sunny and carefree days we enjoy here in Fayetteville and Cumberland County. Well, the only comforting words I can think of are  “… this too shall pass.”
    {mosimage}Whatever the new year brings we’re going to be ready for it. Everyone here at Up & Coming Weekly, Primelife Magazine and Kidsville News! are entering the new year prepared to continue doing what we do best — informing, editorializing and entertaining the community. After all, this is what free “community” newspapers are supposed to do. We are proud to be entering our 14th year serving this community. Fourteen years ... Go figure. Especially, as daily newspapers nationwide struggle for mere existence, community newspapers continue to grow stronger as they traditionally stay in close communication to the people, businesses and organizations that make up their local communities. Community newspapers, unlike their daily brethren, have a better understanding on how to use their resources, especially the Internet, as a networking, informational supplement rather than an independent “media” source, which it is not.  Think about it. When was the last time you heard someone say, “I saw your article on the Internet?” or “I think I’ll check the Internet to see where I can get the best, most dependable local service for my ......” or “Hey, did you see my kid’s picture on the Internet?” The Internet is great for general information, however, it was never designed to build or brand a business, service, organization or a community. For that you need a constant and ever present presence. Communities, like businesses and organizations, have heart  and soul. That is what makes them unique. That’s their brand. Your brand is what you are and what you stand for. That’s why it is important to constantly market, promote, nurture and develop it. The Internet cannot do this and it is foolish to think (as daily newspapers do) that the Internet can be both your nemesis and your salvation at the same time. Hmmmm ... That arrogance is familiar.
    In 2009, we are going to continue to develop our “brand” and also continue to help those who want to develop theirs. Candles concealed under a bushel will surely radiate little light. So, thank you sincerely for reading our publications and keeping us focused on what is important in our community. Continue to  support and patronize our advertisers. Visit their organizations, use their products and services and see for yourselves, firsthand, how local community commitment affects value. Also, do check us out on the Internet. This is how we are going to stay in business serving this community for many years to come.
    Who knows what the future has in store for us? What we do know is this: It doesn’t make any difference whether you’re a government organization, institution, local business, local civic or government official or community newspaper, when you do the  “right things” for the “right reasons” good things always result, and, you never have to apologize for your actions.
Thanks for reading and have a happy New Year!

Contact Bill Bowman at [email protected]
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