The Newnan Times-Herald

Opinion

Walter Jones: Our commitment runs deep


  • By Walter Jones
  • |
  • Jul. 10, 2017 - 9:26 AM

I read recently that millennials especially prefer to do business with companies that do good. Well, doesn’t everybody? Maybe, but the marketing experts say such corporate citizenship is a primary factor in millennials’ purchasing decisions.

That’s a marketing tip for you.

Reading that prompted a discussion in our conference room about our own corporate citizenship. Journalists naturally think that the core of our job is public service, so we tend to take it for granted that everyone else sees us in the same light.

Standing in the rain at midnight to cover a fire, being blessed out by an irate politician and missing your child’s piano recital to email a news bulletin are not done because of the job’s prestige or lucrative wages. They’re done out of public service.

We don’t mind battling City Hall, sifting through government files or plumbing the depths of arcane bureaucratic minutiae to tell you what’s happening and to demand transparency from government. Most people don’t have the time, skills or stomach for the personal attacks, so they’re happy to let us do these things.

As a community media company, our newspapers, website and magazines aim to provide an accurate reflection of where we live, “warts and all.” There may be news of a shooting on the front page, but the average edition of our newspaper contains 10 items about nonprofit organizations other than governments.

Our news coverage, while not motivated by boosterism, does point the spotlight on charities that deserve the attention. And our editorials have supported local causes explicitly.

NTH plays an active role in many of community-wide activities, such as our current campaign to raise funds for playground equipment at the Howard Warner Community Center. We’ve done the same for our Fill the Stocking campaign at Christmas and our Hometown Heroes effort for the Newnan-Coweta Public Safety Foundation.

We’ve made in-kind donations to golf tournaments, shooting tournaments and raffles that benefit one charitable endeavor or another.

Over the years, our employees have participated in spelling bees and dance contests for charity, served on nonprofit boards and represented the company in panel discussions, not because of their inherent talents but because they were part of NTH.

So, as we added all of this up, we concluded there is ample reason for millennials or those of any other generation to think of NTH as a solid corporate citizen.

We’d never be so mercenary as to use civic engagement as a marketing ploy. Instead, our commitment to these causes runs deep because it honors our dedication to you and our other readers. That’s always been our motivation for 152 years.

Walter Jones is the publisher of NTH, which includes The Newnan Times-Herald, times-herald.com, Newnan-Coweta Magazine, Xtra and Coweta Living.