It is with great regret we announce to our readership that we will be taking a break from publishing The Mercury as of the April 9 edition. It is our hope to resume publishing one day in the future, but at this time no date can be given.
The Mercury has undergone a major transformation over the years as we learned what you, our readers, wanted in your community newspaper.
All around the world publications are struggling to survive as technology provides savvier, faster ways to get the news. While the delivery of news, whether hard or feature, will always exist, the way it is delivered is changing at an incredible speed.
From stone tablets to town criers, to daily, weekly, monthly and even quarterly periodicals and publications, to radio and television and finally, the computer, news has been shared and distributed throughout the ages. It is the recent change in delivery, over the last decade, that has newspapers everywhere struggling to survive, struggling to find their niche in this new world, struggling to keep from closing.
As we type our public officials are hammering out details to legislation in an effort to come up with some sort of bailout plan for small town newspapers. It is a great loss to not only the individual communities, but to our nations heritage, that the tradition of the small town weekly may one day be no more.
In the case of The Mercury, our publisher Jay Bernhardt made the decision in December to privately fund this once corporately funded operation with the hopes of it becoming successful. We cut staff down to the absolute minimum, accepted contributions from the community and redesigned the whole concept of community newspaper in an effort to help his efforts along.
The schools pitched in and delivered sports news and photos. Community residents pitched in and sent in family information. Other residents climbed on board and for nominal fees became stringers and freelancers.
Now itís your final turn to be heard. You all have one more week to submit your information, your achievements, successes, opinions, letters to the editor and photographs to our paper.
We would like this last edition to be a celebration of the community, of our paper, and what we have achieved together over the last few years.
So readers, whether itís one line or a paragraph, we encourage you to send in your thoughts about The Mercury, our service to you and what the closing of our paper means to you and your community. Hopefully your sentiments will be positive.
For those of you who receive The Mercury through a subscription, you will be pro-rated and refunded for the editions not yet published which you will not receive as a result of this decision.
We look forward to your final contributions. Our final issue will be put to bed on Tuesday, April 7, so please submit all contributions no later than Monday, April 6.
We appreciate, as always, your involvement with The Mercury.