The marketplace for news and advertising products in the county is continuing to heat up. This afternoon, while getting caught up on current local news on the net, we tripped across a recently launched news site, the Cecil Guardian. While it’s just getting underway, the mast head says it’ll be “your source for community news and information” and a print version will circulate Dec. 3.
Indeed we have lots of ’printed matter out there to occupy our attention and deliver readers for those expensive advertisements. The Watershed Chronicle reported on some of this early this week. Actually this isn’t an anomaly in the county for such conditions generally existed here. But the problem in recent decades is not the volume of news print that’s pushed onto the street, but the quality of the content. If someone will start bringing home quality, original news, dig into stories just a little, and periodically question politicians, they’ll have an enterprise that will have great value. Readers want such a product in this underserved market (from that perspective) and if you have lots of readers, the value of advertisements soar appropriately.
We’ll have to see how this one works out because the track record in the county isn’t strong in the area of delivering valued content in the 21st century. Since print news first appeared here, with the Elkton Press in the 1820s, over 60 different titles have been published here. There was a time at the turn of the 20th century that 8 hometown weeklies were issued. Of course, I realize that was a long time ago, but back in the 1970s we still had two independents, the Cecil Whig and the Cecil Democrat, and the News Journal competed aggressively with local content.
Some of my best insight for local research comes from using the News Journal in the 1970s. Those columnists knew how to call things the way they say them and mildly challenge local government institutions. It’s a process that is helpful for good governance.
We’ll see if someone is finally going to capitalize on this market opportunity associated with sought after content and couple it with the Net to delivery it in an efficient, cost-effective way.