Will Rogers would be amazed

Published 12:47 am Sunday, March 15, 2009

The late early 20th Century humorist Will Rogers used to say, “All I know is what I read in newspapers.” In his stage performances he would do rope tricks while he made humorous comments about news stories he read.

He kept his audience laughing when he added his insights about the news of his time. Like many stand-up comics of today, he spent much of his time making people laugh about stories written about politicians and governmental leaders. Although radio was a means of reporting news of his day, Rogers relied on the written word for raw material for his scripts.

Having been a newspaper journalist for nearly 40 years now, I appreciated Rogers’ dedication to reading newspapers and using them for a source to entertain others.

I wonder what he would think of today’s newspapers, especially those that publish online editions daily in addition to their printed editions. I can’t be sure but I bet he would be a big fan of online editions that update news all during the day for readers.

Take our online edition, www.clantonadvertiser.com, this week for example. Tuesday the story about the Alabama Department of Transportation closing a local rest stop here due to a fear of contaminated soap was reported on our Web site as soon as the alert was given. Later that afternoon an accident that left a power pole broken and 1,600 people without power was also reported as “breaking news” on the site. Hundreds of area readers turned to www.clantonadvertiser.com to read both stories hours before our print edition rolled off our press that night.

Our Web site allows our writers and photographers to provide news alerts quickly on our site that are more fully covered in our print edition for the following day. It is a good partnership of print and electronic news reporting.

If you have the opportunity, take time to take a look at our site on a daily basis. During times of breaking local news, it is a good source for information that you might need to know.

– Mike Kelley is the publisher of The Clanton Advertiser. His column appears on Sundays. He can be reached at mike.kelley@clantonadvertiser.com.