When I was a kid, everyone else my age was dreaming of owning a Barbie, a Corvette or a pony. But I had my heart set on something entirely different.
I wanted to own a newspaper. You see, my dad was a reporter when I was little, and I grew up in a newsroom. I even have a picture of me in diapers banging away at a typewriter at my dad’s desk at The Tuscaloosa News. In the summers during my elementary school years, I made pretend newspapers on one of the early personal desktop computers and Pagemaker software. The Fisher Gazette had a synopsis of my soap operas (yes, I watched them in fourth grade) and a “Dear Pixie” column in which my cat answered questions we made up from other pets in the neighborhood.
Twenty years later, I am still a journalist, and I have achieved the dream that I wasn’t sure would ever come true. I now own a newspaper – your newspaper, the Leeds Tribune. I think we’re lucky to be matched up. Leeds is a wonderful town bursting with stories to be told. And I’m a starving journalist hungry to tell your stories and put out a great paper packed with local news, sports, lifestyle content that you guys can’t wait to read every week.
Media isn’t an easy business to be in these days. For starters, everyone thinks newspapers are dying. But if I put a newspaper in front of you that contains photos and stories about your kids, neighbors, friends and the news of the town, would you not pick it up and read it? Maybe you’d even cut out stories and tape them to your refrigerator. You might even warm up your laminator.
And local businesses, aren’t you anxious to get in front of a targeted audience of clients and customers to introduce them to your products and services? Wouldn’t it be efficient to share your company’s offerings in the paper that everyone is reading?
That doesn’t sound like a dying business model to me! I think it sounds like a “win-win.”
The Leeds Tribune will have a social media presence and a web site that will share breaking news, photos and coverage you need to know in Leeds and the surrounding communities. And we want to hear from you! Send us your story ideas, editorials, letters to the editor, photos and videos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m assembling a team of professional writers and photographers to work with me, among them my journalist father, Brad Fisher, who is getting to relive his dream of being a reporter again after a few decades in public relations. My mom, Debrah Fisher, is also on the team, serving as circulation manager. She’s the one who will be helping you with your annual subscriptions and making sure you don’t miss an issue.
This isn’t just my paper – it’s your paper, the paper for Leeds. We want to partner with you to spread the community’s news. If you are a member of an organization that could benefit from a relationship with the newspaper, let’s get together and make it happen.
I’ve had a great career in journalism. I’ve worked at half a dozen newspapers, starting with the Birmingham Post-Herald, the former afternoon paper in the Magic City. I ran the Birmingham Business Journal for nine years and made regular appearances on Fox 6 and on the local NPR affiliate WBHM. (If you want to Google me, search for Cindy Crawford. Yes, like the model. I now go by my maiden name, Cindy Fisher.)
I have two awesome kids, William, 11, and Allie, 8. You may have seen hanging out with me at the farmers market and at Rails & Ales, a family favorite, especially for William. He’s railfanner, and he runs from the porch and around the fence when he hears a train horn to record train videos for his YouTube channel, Close-Up Railfanning. See some of his shots on Page ?.
As a single mom, I wasn’t sure that my dream of owning a newspaper would be possible. But over the last year, I decided to listened to that still, small voice that encouraged me to follow my dream into community journalism and do what I love. With God’s help and your support, success will follow.
Thank you all for joining me on this exciting journey. Go Greewave!
Get the Leeds Tribune in your mailbox every Thursday for only $26 a year! Email email@example.com to subscribe!