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Editorial: Grateful to continue bringing community news to you

If you’d asked me 10 years ago where I thought I’d be, it wasn’t here as the new editor of the Williams-Grand Canyon News and Navajo-Hopi Observer.

But my experience here has been nothing like I expected and I am inspired by the people who work so tirelessly to make northern Arizona a better place.

The Williams-Grand Canyon News has been in publication since 1898. It’s one of the longest running newspapers in Arizona, and I’m honored to continue to carry the editorial torch here.

The Navajo-Hopi Observer contains tribal news, human interest stories, community events, sports, school and health related information for the Western Navajo tribe and all of the Hopi reservation. The Observer covers the northeast quadrant of Arizona. Each week 15,000 copies are delivered to this vast area with an estimated readership of over 35,000.

Having a hometown newspaper is becoming rarer with the advent of new advertising opportunities and the popularity of social media. However, the value of a small town paper is unmatched for readers interested in in-depth coverage of local issues and staying abreast of community happenings.

My goal since I began as a reporter at the Williams News in 2015 was to be a voice for the community, whether good or bad. The staff here not only works to bring relevant news to your doorstep, but to share with the rest of the world what is important to our communities.

The Williams-Grand Canyon News and the Navajo-Hopi Observer belong to the communities of Williams, Grand Canyon, and the Navajo and Hopi reservations, and I hope nobody loses sight of that.

I’m here for a short while, and then someone else will take the helm, but hopefully the newspapers will endure. They are special publications that continue because of the support of the communities.

In a back room we have almost every edition of each newspaper.

They are treasure troves of history and a time capsule of the communities.

They hold a record of our government leaders, our outstanding athletic teams and those who forged out new businesses. They are testaments to the people who work hard in the Williams, Grand Canyon, Navajo and Hopi communities.

The financial health of the newspapers is always a concern, however, a loyal caldron of local advertisers and subscribers continues to bring the news to you. We couldn’t do it without them.

We hope that people in the communities will see that by advertising or subscribing, you are supporting the news that we bring to you. We hope you support those who do advertise with us, and you consider advertising yourself as a way to show your support for what we do. It’s not much different than donating to your favorite nonprofit.

You may see some new faces as we continue to publish not only the Williams-Grand Canyon News, and the Navajo-Hopi Observer, newspapers, but also our Williams and Grand Canyon Visitor Guides, the North Pole Times, the Territorial Times and several other publications.

We are eager to share our latest endeavor with you, a magazine called Northern Arizona Hunting & Fishing. The staff has been collaborating on this over the past year as a way to share the community’s great outdoor opportunities, and also send a message on how to recreate here responsibly. We hope our communities will support us in this so we can get it off the ground soon.

Ultimately, we are here for you and are always grateful for your readership and support. If you don’t see us at your event, please send us some photos. We rely on you to keep us up to date on the happenings in our communities. Send us your events, your concerns, your praises and your ideas. We are always eager to hear from you.

Feel free to email me anytime at whowell@williamsnews.com. For advertising and support opportunities, email Connie Hiemenz at chiemenz@williamsnews.com.

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