A newspaper is more than paper and ink

By Christine Sackey

former editor of the Humboldt Beacon

When Gustave Jasper started publication of The Humboldt Beacon in 1901, he promised his readers "a clean, wide-awake newspaper." And The Beacon has fulfilled that promise for more than a hundred years of reporting on the doings of the Eel River Valley. The paper has informed its readers about births, deaths, weddings, school news, council meetings, club news, business news, community events, crimes, fires, accidents, weather and more - triumphs and tragedies, large things and small.

Even a fire that ravaged the newspaper office itself did not deter the newspaper staff from fulfilling the paper's mission of shining a light on the events and people of the community. Many people's lives from birth to death and events in between have been chronicled within its pages.

The Beacon was a family-owned newspaper, and in many ways it remained a family paper even after it was sold to MediaNews Group. Because in one sense, a newspaper is owned and shaped by its readers. And The Humboldt Beacon's readers, along with the people who labored to publish it each week, are a family. In the pages of this little newspaper, we have shared good news and bad, happy events and sad ones. It's our shared history - our community history. Our family history.

And now the inevitable time has come for The Beacon to chronicle yet one more sad event. It is time to say good-bye. Finances and changing times have led to this bittersweet moment.

Endings are hard. But every ending is also a beginning. The Humboldt Beacon will live on in the pages of the Times-Standard, which has promised to continue Eel River Valley coverage in a special weekly page. Think of it as a family newsletter.

As always, I urge our readers - our family - to continue to participate. Keep sending in your announcements, your letters, your suggestions. Helps us keep the Eel River Valley community - the Eel River Valley family - informed about your events, your accomplishments, your joys and your sorrows.

And thank you - thank you all - for having helped make The Humboldt Beacon the great little family newspaper that it is. The paper itself, as a separate entity, may be closing its doors, but its spirit will live on. Its community - its heart - will live on.