The same has always been true.
In the 1930s, a copy of the Richmond County Journal (it wasn’t a daily paper back then) cost a nickel. The front page was different. In one example we looked at, there were 28 stories on the front page. Some were as short as a paragraph. Getting a marriage license was a front page item back then. Often so was dying. All the world’s news was packed into six pages one day a week.
In the late 1970s, the price of a paper was up to 15 cents. Of course a carton of cigarettes went for $3.19 back then. The front page didn’t have marriage licenses, but it did feature a number of Associated Press stories. The paper was perhaps 12 pages, and packed full of advertisements from furniture and grocery stores that don’t exist in Richmond County anymore.
Now 50 cents out of a vending rack, or as little as 31 cents if you get it delivered to your home, you get a snapshot of what’s happening in your community. Some of it is bad news. A lot of it is good.
How people get news is vastly different than it was in the 1930s or 1970s, but our goal is pretty much the same. To inform Richmond County about the things that matter to residents here. Our job is to pass on the information that residents need to have to make informed choices. And sometimes it’s nice to just write a story to make people smile.
And smiles may be in short supply.
As the new year and new decade starts, North Carolina has seen the working age population grow by 18 percent in a decade. The number of people unemployed is 10 times what it was 10 years ago.
But what is clear is Richmond County has weathered hard times before and gotten through them.
A Christmas edition in 1933 carried a small message above the masthead on page one. In December 1933 the country had been in a depression for four years. For many, it wouldn’t end for another seven years.
What was published then would also fit well for today.
“The Journal heartily wishes all its friends and patrons a Merry Christmas and may you stand in the dawn of brighter and happier days.”