The rumors are true.

Many of you have heard rumors or seen information on a new Baldwin City Newspaper, which is due to appear early in September.  The rumors are true.  Working with the Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Corporation (EDC), as well as some interested other citizens, we are in the process of getting the Baldwin City Community News off and running.

My name is Vern Brown and I approached the Chamber and EDC  some time ago about bringing Baldwin City a community, locally owned and operated newspaper. They have been very helpful and encouraged the idea. Their help and encouragement is about to “make it happen”.

Value of a Community Newspaper 

In simple terms, it brings the community together.

A community newspaper can help tie a community like Baldwin City together.  It can help with communication.  I can be the record for the community.  This community has a superb record of success, from winning state championships to national championships. It has a lot of activities and festivals that take place.  Every day, history happens. A newspaper is there to record it. It also is a place where you can learn about your neighbors through feature stories and about the groups, individuals and businesses that make up the fabric of Baldwin City.

Questions About Beginning a Baldwin City Newspaper

When I first approached, folks had several good questions.

First, why would I want to bring Baldwin City a newspaper?  

Well, for several years, I have come in and out of Baldwin City covering events for the paper I operate nearby.  At that time, Baldwin City schools and Anderson County were in the same league. After they changed leagues, I continued to watch Baldwin City.  A short time later, you lost the Baldwin Signal. I simply thought that this community was too active and strong to go without a newspaper. I kept thinking that for a couple of years, then decided that it was time to act.

Why would I start this paper?

It’s really pretty simple.  I love community newspapers.  I also am a fourth generation newspaper guy.  I am starting this paper because I believe in the future of my style of paper.  It will be delivered free to every home in the Baldwin City zip code.  I believe this is where the industry is going.

How can “free” work?

It’s simple.  It is supported by advertising.

On the other side of the coin, we will find talented community folks to help bring it to you.  They will be “stakeholders” in the deal.  I told the folks I originally talked to that I would someday retire, and that it didn’t make much sense to start this if it went away after I retired.  The commitment is that the Baldwin City Community News will continue after that time and be owned by those in the community.

I’ll help you get started, but eventually ownership passes on to the community.

My Story

My background has been in newspapers, magazines and the electronic media.  I have worked or run daily newspapers and weekly newspapers for more than 45 years.  I also spent two years as a TV news director.  I have also taught at both the college and secondary levels.

I grew up in Michigan in a family of eight children. I learned about that community thing early. After I graduated from college, Uncle Sam called and introduced me to another community. To widen my horizons, he even sent me to visit SE Asia.

When I got back and out, I went back into the news business and have spent my life in it.

All of that “life” has taken place in the Midwest, in Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa.  My partner and I have owned the Anderson County Community News for just about the past 18 years.  I got to visit all of those states because I worked for corporations, before deciding to settle in Kansas. I have grown children, became a widower last year, and can’t play golf all that well.

Along with chasing grandchildren, newspapers are what I do. I am helping bring a newspaper to Baldwin City because this is what I want to do. It isn’t about money. It is about what I believe in. It is as simple as that. In the end result, I will benefit by watching you grow, and I will get my start up investment back. You get a paper, I get to do what I love to do.