This is the final edition of the Journal-Register, a community newspaper that’s had its ups and downs over its century-plus existence and has always strived to serve the best interests of its wonderful host community, Medina, N.Y.
It was with the greatest reluctance, and not just a tinge of sadness, that Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. announced the closing of the Journal-Register a month ago. For those who’d kept faith and hung on to their subscriptions through the latest down cycle in the hard-pressed newspaper industry, we know the end of this paper is like a death in the family. The reporters, editors, sales and delivery people who worked to bring you this newspaper feel the same way.
Community newspapering is a fine and honorable tradition and the current staff of the Journal-Register have taken great joy in carrying it on. We hope you, the readers, judged our effort to be satisfactory more often than not.
In mid-2014, as the news of a Medina village dissolution effort began taking the “lead” position on Page One more frequently, it’s difficult not to see the timing of our closing as ironic, at least. Just when Medinans are most in need of facts and accurate information, presented in an objective context, so that they may choose wisely should the question of pursuing “One Medina” go to a public vote, we’re leaving.
No, the two events are not connected, but that doesn’t soften the blow for us news gatherers, whose proudest moments come from knowing our work made a difference in the community; that it inspired citizens to get informed and involved in an event or an issue.
The work and findings of the all-volunteer Medina dissolution exploratory committee presented Journal-Register reporter Howard Balaban with a prime opportunity to help make a difference in his hometown. To dissolve or not dissolve is a hugely important decision for all village residents and Mr. Balaban set out to get as much information about the process, and the ramifications, as he could. He delivered on a journalistic promise not by playing the part of stenographer to a committee or any village or town official with a horse in the race, but by questioning the issue as a curious, affected resident, and doggedly pursuing answers from people in the know from Medina to Seneca Falls to Albany.