Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

Karla's Kolumn: Welcome to the Northern Wyoming News

Welcome to the inaugural edition of the Northern Wyoming News, continuing the long tradition, more than 100 years, of chronicling the life and times of the people in Washakie County and the Big Horn Basin.

This newspaper began as a weekly newspaper, the Worland Grit, in 1905. The Grit morphed into the five-day-a-week daily newspaper, the Northern Wyoming Daily News and this week we welcome back the weekly format under the Northern Wyoming News.

If you’re reading this then we thank you for being continued loyal readers, or being new readers and giving the Northern Wyoming News a try.

We believe you’ll like what you read in this edition and every edition going forward. You will find these 20 pages packed full of local news, features and sports. We have several local legislative stories about bills that may impact you; we have an in-depth look at the human trafficking workshop that occurred last week; we have a feature on the upcoming Worland Middle School musical “Charleston!”; a feature on the 100th anniversary of the Thermopolis Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce; our usual coverage of the Washakie County commissioners, Worland City Council and Ten Sleep Council; information on the Second Friday ArtStroll in Thermopolis, the At The Museum column and Worland Community Center happenings column. We’re continuing to feature our historical and Wyoming columns with writers John Davis of Worland and Bill Sniffin of Lander.

Turning over to page 3 you find our vitals page which will feature obituaries and this week includes death notices, as well as circuit court and municipal court reports, calls for service from our ambulance, law enforcement and fire departments, weather forecast for the coming weekend and early next week and the past week’s lottery numbers.

If you check out page 8 you’ll find our church schedule and when you flip to page 10 you’ll find our “Just For Fun” page featuring puzzles, comics and a weekend evening TV guide.

In our back section you’ll find local sports stories with Worland High School sports as well as Thermopolis and Ten Sleep sports.

Next week we resume our NASCAR page for the NASCAR season, just in time for a preview of the Daytona 500, which will be on Feb. 17.

In the B section you will also find our classifieds, public notices and service directory.

You see it doesn’t matter if a newspaper shows up in your mailbox once a week or five times a week. What matters is if the newspaper is doing its job. So what is that job?

Recently a Facebook user replied to our post about switching to a weeky. She said daily newspapers are the cornerstone of a community.

She was partly right. Newspapers are important parts of any community but it matters not the frequency. What does matter is that the newspapers serve to educate the public, to inform the public, to hold government accountable and to exercise our First Amendment.

Thomas Jefferson understood the important role newspapers serve. He is often quoted as saying “were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”

The full quote, according to the Online Library of Liberty, was when Jefferson was writing from Paris to Edward Carrington, on the importance of a free press to keep government in check.

He wrote, “The people are the only censors of their governors: and even their errors will tend to keep these to the true principles of their institution. To punish these errors too severely would be to suppress the only safeguard of the public liberty. The way to prevent these irregular interpositions of the people is to give them full information of their affairs thro’ the channel of the public papers, and to contrive that those papers should penetrate the whole mass of the people. The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers and be capable of reading them.”

According to Brainy Quote, Robert Kennedy wrote about newspapers, “No one needs to tell me about the importance of the free press in a democratic society or about the essential role a newspaper can play in its community.”

We have a vital role to play in this community, Worland, Washakie County and the Big Horn Basin. It’s a role we take seriously. It’s a role we will fulfill as a weekly, just as we did as a daily.

Newspapers have struggled over the past several years, however, the newspapers that are not struggling, have found their niche in community journalism, local news first and foremost, and that is what you’ll find in the Northern Wyoming News.

We hope you enjoy the read each and every week.