Farmers get up before dawn. I wasn’t as much of a farmer as my six brothers, but I got up early to beat the sun when I hoed sugar beets on our family farm in northwest Minnesota. But during those summer weeks when the hoeing was finished, I got up at 10 a.m. Exactly at 10.
Because that’s when the newspaper came in the mail. Every day, I poured over every word in the sports section, especially the baseball boxscores in tiny agate type.
So maybe I am a poor one to tell you why you should subscribe to the Rockford Register Star. Newspapers have always been in my blood — even before Barnesville High School English teacher Ken Bauer helped me discover that I liked to write in my senior creative writing class. Until then, I had only written term papers. No one likes writing a term paper. It’s drudgery. But the day I learned writing could be fun is the day I stopped dreaming of becoming a history teacher/wrestling and baseball coach and knew the only thing I wanted to do in life was to become a sports writer.
Or maybe I am the perfect one to extol the benefits of getting your local paper. Because I love newspapers AND history, I know both how much you are getting now and what you are missing from days gone by if you get today’s paper.
My parents subscribed to The Forum for more than 60 years. That Fargo paper — the biggest in North Dakota — now gets printed only on Saturdays and Wednesdays. Even on those days, it will soon no longer have carriers, being sent only in the mail. The other five days are online only. The paper is also much smaller than it used to be.
Here at the Register Star, we’ve adapted to the ever-changing industry. Our stories go up at rrstar.com at a moment’s notice. All of our reporters bring local voices to the fore.
People like to tell me how the Rockford Morning Star and Rockford Register-Republic covered every single NIC-10 football game in the 1960s and 1970s. They did. But many of those stories didn’t contain a single quote. They were dry. Without local flavor. Just numbers and stats. There was little human element, at least in the sports pages. But that’s where I think you should have the most human element.
Writing about sports isn’t really writing about games. It’s writing about the people playing those games. You can’t really know Rockford sports without reading the Register Star. For instance, I’ve known (and liked) Rockford Lutheran girls golf coach Joe Lodico for more than 20 years, but I don’t think I really knew him until I read Jay Taft’s story on how Lodico has been the head coach of eight different sports at Lutheran over the years.
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Our newspaper, even with all its modern challenges that are wracking the entire industry, is so much better than it was when I was growing up. And newspapers have always been a tremendous value. Print costs have risen so much that producing a paper version you can hold in your hands has indeed gotten expensive. But you can buy an introductory six-month digital subscription for the same price as buying one day’s paper — or a fraction of the cost of a cup of coffee.
And when you subscribe to the paper, you invest in your town. Our paper is your paper. We write about you and your concerns. Your schools, your city, your problems, your joys, your worries, your sports teams. Your paper is our paper. Come join us and you will see that, too.
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This article originally appeared on Rockford Register Star: Subscribe to the Rockford Register Star to invest in your town