Symbol of a Community: The Clyde Enterprise
The former Clyde Enterprise newspaper was once a popular and well distributed news publication to the local masses of Clyde, Ohio and the surrounding area. Unfortunately, in modern day news reporting, a physical newspaper is steadily becoming a thing of the past. The media has significantly changed within the past twenty years.
The Clyde Enterprise was founded by Henry Paden and J.C. Loveland in 1878. It was beloved of the community of Clyde from the very beginning, though there were other newspapers in Clyde from the nineteenth century moving into the early twentieth century. Eventually, however, it became the predominant news publication of the community. The uniqueness of the newspaper, on the other hand, was it resolved from the very beginning to report only local news as a once weekly newspaper. It was decided that national news was already publicized in other larger, far distributed, news publications and it would be redundant to rehash old news.
Some years after its opening, ownership would change hands to John Jackson, Sr. and the Jackson family descendants throughout most of the 19th and 20th centuries. The Enterprise was then purchased by the Brown Publishing Group of Cincinnati, Ohio in the late 20th century, and finally was purchased by Civitas Media of North Carolina in 2011, after Brown filed for bankruptcy. Civitas operated the newspaper for the next five years. They closed the newspaper in June 2016 after claiming reduced readership and a stark decline in advertising sales. The original offices of the Clyde Enterprise (ca. late 19th century) were located around 102-104 North Main Street on the second floor. The first issue of the Clyde Enterprise was published on 21 March 1878. The Clyde Enterprise existed for more than 138 years as Northern Ohio’s oldest weekly newspaper, publishing its last issue on 1 June 2016.
A physical newspaper was once the main source of discovering the latest news until the age of radio and television came along in the early to mid-20th century. Then when the Internet age came about in the 1980s, change was inevitably seen on the horizon. The World Wide Web would be introduced in 1990 to the masses and news reporting would change dramatically in less than twenty-five years. The information super highway began to grow and expand in a way that many ever expected. Many things would become available online that was once only available by physically having to visit or patronize a physical location. Diverse types of businesses and organizations, including news outlets began to make widespread use of this new online resource. One of the main reasons has been because posting news online is an inexpensive and ultra-quick way of getting the news to a worldwide audience within minutes. Also, advertisers began to see that their profits could be increased because it was much cheaper than advertising in a print newspaper or periodical.
William Welch, retired journalist of USA Today, has asserted as the internet expands, advertisers will continue to change their practices of where and how they will advertise their goods and services to maximize profit. He stated, “The lower cost and data available from digital advertising has been attractive to businesses who once advertised regularly in newspapers. That decline in advertising has meant a decline in revenue.” Herein lies one of the reasons that the Clyde Enterprise closed its doors according to Civitas Media. Advertising sales began to decline as customers and new potential customers began to move advertising budgets elsewhere, as well as others apparently seeking local news from other sources. Though local newspapers are an important local news source, it seems evident that many people following the first decade of the 21st century, have begun to seek local news from social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and etc.
This unhappy story of the Clyde Enterprise, however, has not lessened the love that the people of Clyde have for this former news publication. It is missed and some wish it was still in existence. Some believe the Enterprise was financially sound at its closure, and its advertising sales were strong. Whatever the reason for its actual demise, the newspaper was an icon and cornerstone of its community.
Ahrens, Joseph. 2018. "Wake Tech." Wake Review Literary Magazine & Club. Accessed March 14, 2019. http://clubs.waketech.edu/wake-review/magazine/creative-writing/non-fiction/the-decline-in-newspapers-a-closer-look-joseph-ahrens/.
Andrews, Evan. 2013. "Who Invented the Internet." History.com. December 18. Accessed March 14, 2019. https://www.history.com/news/who-invented-the-internet.
Brooks, Becky, interview by Curator Gene Smith. 2019. Community Content Specialist, Fremont News-Messenger (March 14).
Civitas Media LLC. 2016. "Clyde Enterprise Closes." The Clyde Enterprise, June 1: 1.
Clyde Museum & McPherson House. n.d. "Clyde History Files."