Next week the mighty Falls Church News-Press will reach a particularly poignant milestone, the 25th anniversary of its first edition. From March 28, 1991, when the very first edition hit the streets in Falls Church and environs, to March 28, 2016, this independent, locally-owned newspaper of record has served its community with almost 1,297 consecutive weekly editions.
What makes this anniversary particularly important is what its founder, owner and editor-in-chief said in December 1991, when the News-Press was honored in its very first year as the recipient of the “Business of the Year” award that the Falls Church City Council used to present annually in a number of categories. The awards included special recognitions for all businesses in the City who marked 25 year anniversaries. When our chief shook hands and took the “Business of the Year” plaque, he said how appreciative he was, and then added, “However, the award I really covet is the 25th anniversary one.”
There is a saying that 90 percent of life is just showing up. Well, there has been a lot more involved than just showing up in the News-Press’ 25 year dedication to its public service cause. We have survived through many difficult times caused by such things as our own financial resource limitations, repeated efforts at direct competition, the great recession of 2007 and its residual effects that are still with us, and the general notion that, with the Internet, newspapers have outlived their usefulness, among others.
But we at the News-Press have always seen our mission to not only inform the public, but to advocate on behalf of those in the community who cannot speak for themselves, such as youth in need of a quality education, the disadvantaged and victims of discrimination, and finally, to present a powerful local platform for small businesses to advertise their wares and services to a local audience.
In the effort to achieve this, while the circulation numbers of the paper ebbed and flowed over 25 years, the paper has never once failed in its dedication to be delivered free to every household in Falls Church, as well as to many businesses and public distribution points. Our paper remains something that no amount of Internet initiatives can match because it does not depend on citizens taking the initiative to search to find on the Internet the wide range of information that every week’s edition of the News-Press provides.
We hope that our readers and friends will share with us in the celebration of next week’s milestone. We are hosting a party right in the middle of Falls Church, at the Ireland’s Four Provinces restaurant at the intersection of the City’s crossroads, Routes 7 and 29 (W. Broad at S. Washington) on Thursday, March 31, beginning at 6:30 p.m. We invite all our friends to attend. So, please, buy a ticket, available online at FCNP.com/fcnpturns25 or over the phone at 703-532-3267.