One of the jobs I had as a kid growing up in Elgin was delivering the Courier News to subscribers in my east side neighborhood.
Little did I know at the time that my career would be in journalism. I was just a kid delivering the news to people who wanted it. My main motivation was the money I was making.
I look back at that job now, and it makes me think about how newspapers have lost their way a little.
When working for a newspaper meant only publishing a print edition every morning or afternoon, we brought the news to you. Snot-nosed kids like me would haul giant sacks of newspapers through rain, snow, sleet and sun and deliver them to people’s doorsteps.
The news was brought to you.
Then along came the Internet, which gave newspapers another platform to publish the news. Except newspapers didn’t deliver the news in the Internet age like they did in the print-only days. Even as email and text messaging evolved, most newspapers dropped the ball. Somewhere along the line, digitally, we expected you to come to us for the news instead of us delivering the news to you.
The Northwest Herald is trying to change that with a couple of new initiatives meant to deliver the news you need into your inbox or onto your smartphone. We’re trying to deliver more online content to you than we are already. You now can have news from your hometown delivered straight to your mobile phone via text message.
If you live in one of the following 13 communities, text the keyword – which is in parentheses – to 74574, and you will start receiving community news text alerts: Algonquin (NWHALGONQUIN), Cary (NWHCARY), Crystal Lake (NWHCRYSTALLAKE), Fox River Grove (NWHFOXRIVERGROVE), Harvard (NWHHARVARD), Hebron (NWHHEBRON), Huntley (NWHHUNTLEY), Johnsburg (NWHJOHNSBURG), Lake in the Hills (NWHLITH), Marengo (NWHMARENGO), McHenry (NWHMCHENRY), Richmond (NWHRICHMOND) and Woodstock (NWHWOODSTOCK). Message and data rates apply.
You also can register for these hometown alerts by logging onto NWHerald.com/textalerts. Everybody who registers for these hometown news text alerts by June 16 will be entered into a drawing to win a Keurig K-Cup Home Brewing System.
If you don’t see your hometown on this list, don’t worry. If the initiative proves to be successful, we will expand to more towns.
We’ve already been delivering breaking news and daily weather forecasts to your phone. If you aren’t getting these text alerts, you can text NWHNEWS to 74574 to receive breaking news text alerts and NWHWEATHER to 74574 if you would like the daily weather forecast. Again, message and data rates apply.
And now that we’re into road construction season, area road projects are likely giving you headaches during your commute to and from work.
Why not start the workweek by making sure your commute goes smoothly by signing up for the Northwest Herald’s road construction email newsletter at NWHerald.com/newsletter?
The newsletter will be emailed on Sunday evenings throughout road construction season. You also can find construction updates online at NWHerald.com/construction.
• Jason Schaumburg is editor of the Northwest Herald. He’s having a hard time believing Tuesday is the 20th anniversary of his high school graduation. Reach him at 815-459-4122 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @Schaumy.