At the age of 10, I spent my spring break in our basement rec room, pounding away on the keys of my Smith Corona typewriter – yes, a manual typewriter, if you can believe it. How archaic?
I hoped I was hitting the keys hard enough to imprint the image of each letter on the top page, as well as the two carbon sheets and paper below. After all, I was writing my own newspaper, of sorts, and I was attempting to produce three copies in total – one for each of parents, and one for my visiting grandmother to read.
Of course, the family read every word, checked out the stick people that I drew in an attempt to add art to the page, laughed where appropriate, comment where deserved, and always – when finished – encouraged me to get to work on the next edition.
Little did I know that more than four decades later, I’d still be writing stories every day, attempting to put them on a page in a desirable and enticing fashion, and hoping that someone would find them interesting enough to read.
I can proudly say my newspaper career officially started back in 1980, when at age15 I came to work at this very newspaper.
I’ve never left the industry, although one might hope my skill set has changed just a bit through all those years. Thankfully, so too have the stories I write and the methods I use to gather and share that information with the public.
But, I keep that same old-style Smith Corona typewriter in my home office and a giant ledger-format Underwood in my work office, to remind me how I’ve grown as a writer, and how dramatically this industry has evolved – much of that directly tied to technological advancements.
Once upon a time, (like when the Langley Advance newspaper was founded in 1931), the ability to disseminate news was restricted to those with printing presses and usually a journalism training.
As the years went on, the human element of the business didn’t change dramatically, but the advent of lead type, then typesetting machines, later linotype equipment and galleys, eventually the personal computers, and then the invention of mobile devices changed not only how information is delivered, but also how readers seek out their news.
Today, a simple Google search can get most people all they ever wanted to know on a subject – and more. In most cases, too much information, and without a filtration system that helps decipher fact from fiction.
Thankfully, community newspapers like The Advance remain a part of that media vista, and readers can rest assured we’re here to help filter out some of that garbage, and still bring you stories that are important to you and your family.
We’re so much more than a news aggregator service. We’re a team of Langley journalists. We’re the ones out there on the streets, at the ball diamonds, in the schools, at accident and fire scenes, and visiting you in your home in the ongoing quest for compelling and informative local stories.
And one thing that has persevered through all the decades and all the changes in technology is that we are still storytellers.
While technology has altered how some people get that information, I believe our readers are still keen to digest the local stories about Langley people, Langley happenings, and/or Langley news that we keep offering.
Invariably, technology will continue to change, and newspapers will go through more transformations. But I can promise you that our team is committed to being your source for all things Langley.
Whether you search us out in our more traditional print form, or opt instead to get your local news via Internet or social media, we’re proud to still be here, sharing with you those stories.