Today some people are likely wondering why there’s a copy of The Brookings Register in their mailbox.
We’re taking part in a U.S. Postal Service program called sampling. About 10,500 Registers are being sent today to every household and business in the 57006 ZIP code.
This is probably the largest circulation endeavor in Register history. We’re doing it in hopes that non-subscribers will see what the newspaper has to offer and that they’ll sign on to get the Register on a regular basis.
As a newspaper, our primary claim to fame is news, and that comes in many forms.
Our news staff spends a good deal of its time going to meetings – city council, school board, county commission – so you don’t have to. They report on crime, fires and community happenings. They also write feature stories that reflect the diversity, generosity and wonder of our little section of South Dakota.
Newspapers are particularly adept at informing on community and regional issues. This election year, our staff has profiled legislative candidates as well as reporting on candidate forums. And how could we forget about the hotly contested state’s attorney race going on right now in Brookings County?
Each day our opinion page reflects the vitality of the exchange of ideas. This election year has seen it come alive with letters to the editor and columns touting the benefits or shortcomings of candidates and ballot issues.
News also takes the form of advertising. This paper is a little larger than a typical Wednesday edition as word leaked out to advertisers about today’s larger circulation.
Through the years the Register has worked hard to build a loyal advertising base, offering readers a window into the health of the local economy and reflecting the worth of investing in local newspaper advertising.
Also adding some heft to today’s edition of the paper is the sample ballot for the upcoming election. By including the ballot in this edition, we’re ensuring that as many people as possible have a chance to become familiar with it prior to the election.
While the news and advertising changes by the day, some features are in every edition. There’s always a five-day weather forecast, a comprehensive list of area events, TV listings, comics, Dear Abby, obituaries, a market report, prices for stocks of local interest and classified ads.
As if life isn’t puzzling enough, we also offer a crossword, Sudoku, a bridge problem and Celebrity Cipher.
As they become available, we publish a police log, court reports, agendas, lottery numbers and legal notices.
Legal notices are printed in small type, but they have a big impact by providing transparency to the way local government entities are spending your tax dollars. The only place you’ll find them is in the newspaper.
If that’s not enough features, each day’s Register has its own personality. Monday’s paper offers health news, but it is dominated during the school year by weekend sports coverage.
Our sports staff has the Herculean task of covering high school sports for Brookings and the surrounding area schools as well as keeping track of Division I sports at South Dakota State University.
Tuesday there’s a business page, and Wednesday features agriculture news. Thursday offers a list of local club and organization meetings, news from area churches and a weekend entertainment page.
Friday’s paper often has Chuck Cecil’s popular column – exploring some aspect of area history – and news from the outdoors.
Saturday’s paper is often stuffed with advertising inserts and the classifieds that day have become a popular venue for help wanted ads, running as much as three pages of ads from employers seeking workers.
Whew. That’s quite a bit delivered right to your mailbox for about 62 cents per day. (If I do say so myself, there’s a pretty good offer on subscription prices included in today’s paper, which takes that daily cost down to about 50 cents.)
If you’re already a subscriber to the Register and you’ve suffered through this entire column, thanks. Maybe it served as a reminder that you’ve invested wisely in local news.
If you’re not yet a subscriber, please take this opportunity to look us over. We hope you like what you see and that you’ll give the Register a chance to serve as your source for news and advertising.