“Nobody reads newspapers anymore.”
There is an old adage that if you repeatedly tell people something enough times it will eventually be considered true. Advertising and marketing firms, for example, build empires based on this very persuasive premise in attempts to help us pick one box of cereal over another. And similarly, newspaper competitors have been trying to make this argument for decades.
But fortunately, for one certain dog stranded more than 1,000 miles from home, people still read newspapers. And lots of them.
This week The Daily News published a news story about a lost Galveston family pet turning up in at the Humane Shelter in Kokomo, Indiana. The family on this end, the Navarro family, was ecstatic to say the least.
Then came the reality. How to get the beloved family member, Blue, home to Galveston?
“I’ve been out of work and about to start a new job,” said JoeAnn Navarro. “I looked into getting a flight to bring her home, but none of the airlines I talked to would take a pit bull.”
The shelter, unfortunately, does not have the room or funds needed to keep Blue for a long stay.
A potentially bleak situation to say the least.
And then the newspaper published the story – and within hours, the world changed for the entire Navarro family. All because of, you know, the product no one supposedly reads anymore.
Immediately the phones at The Daily News began lighting up. Emails came pouring into the newspaper. Even the newspaper’s social media site filled with people offering to help. The local editor discovered 45 voicemails within hours of arriving in his office – all the while trying to answer the steady flood of incoming calls.
Could it be someone was actually moved to action by reading a newspaper? Could the ‘popular’ conclusion be wrong?
Before most people could finish their morning coffee, offers of monetary donations were flooding in. Another offer came from someone with an airplane who thought they could figure out how to help get Blue back to Galveston Island. And within hours, a plan was in place to safely return to reunite a lost family member with his loving home.
The readership reaction, according to Daily News mainland editor TJ Aulds, was energizing.
“We have always been aware of the power of The Daily News’ readership,” said Aulds. “What I enjoy is that most of the people who called or e-mailed are subscribers of The Daily News. That’s something that isn’t rare, it happens with newspapers across the country everyday. Just in this case it helped a lucky dog on the other end.”
As you read this, Blue’s future is bright. After a few details, Blue will be heading home to Galveston Island. A family reunion is on the way.
What is so telling is how quickly people were motivated to take action to something they read from a newspaper. They were moved. They trusted. They acted. Simply said, there is something very special about the relationship a newspaper shares with its community. And for one special dog and his family, they are especially happy people still read newspapers.
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