I was cleaning out some old items from my office shelf this morning and ran across an old edition of the Minden Press-Herald, a newspaper that has been in my family for four generations. It was a commemorative edition, marking the opening of their new facility in 1986.
As I scanned the pages from “yesteryear,” I ran across the following headline: “Spechts believe newspaper should serve readers and that’s what they aim to do…”
The story quoted my grandfather, Arthur, and my uncle, Bill. Both men were instrumental in guiding our “flagship” newspaper throughout part of the 70s and all of the 80s. The story showcased some of their history before coming to the newspaper, along with some of their involvement in the community.
While all the reminiscing was nice, what they said really struck me.
“The newspaper business allows you to become involved in building a better community,” Bill said. “In addition, there is pride you can have in keeping alive and protecting the freedom of the press, which has been with us since the founding of our country.”
Looking internally, Arthur said working with people was a core value of the organization.
“We are a close working family of people who care for each other,” he said. “Each day there is something new — and a different challenge. It is interesting to see how our people meet these new challenges.”
These two values, serving the community and building people, are still at the heart of what we do. It is interesting to see how core values stand the test of time, even though methods and execution may change.
Even as they looked forward back in 1986, their core values guided their vision.
“I don’t get concerned about building the business,” Arthur said. “My biggest concern is building our people — and the business will build itself.”
More than 27 years later, through many economic and market conditions, the Minden Press-Herald is still serving the community. It looks like values do work after all.
David Specht Jr. is President of Specht Newspapers, Inc., and Publisher of the Bossier Press-Tribune. Follow his blog at www.DavidASpecht.com