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Local Newspaper Awarded Press Association Membership

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May 12, 2011 by wcobserver

WEST FORK- The only independently owned newspaper in Washington County got a nod of validation last Friday when it was awarded membership into the Arkansas Press Association.

The Washington County Observer became the first new member of the oldest professional association in the state in 4 years after the press association’s board approved their application at their quarterly meeting April 29 at Lake DeGray State Park.

“We’re thrilled to have a new member and the board unanimously approved their membership,” said Tom Larimer, Executive Director for the Arkansas Press Association.

Larimer said the Washington County Observer’s membership was the first paid circulation member the association approved since 2007.

According to the press association’s website, its membership is comprised of 132 newspapers throughout the state.  To be considered for membership, the Washington County Observer had to meet several requirements including having been in print for at least one year and having received periodical mailing privileges from the United States Postal Service.

“This is something we’ve been working towards since we printed our first issue.  They say the first year in the newspaper business is the hardest and we’re glad to have reached this milestone,” said Susan McCarthy, Co-Publisher.

As part of their membership, the Washington County Observer will have access to several resources including legal advice on a variety of industry issues.

“Membership will also provide new sources of revenue for us and in the newspaper business, you have to chase every dollar in order to survive,” said McCarthy.

These sources of revenue will include being able to accept legal advertising.  McCarthy says any legal or public notice required by law to be published in Washington County can be published in their newspaper.

“We’re pretty proud of this.  Finally, we’ve hit the big time,” added Steve Winkler, Co-Publisher who said that their newspaper is also a member of the National Newspaper Association.

The Washington County Observer printed its first issue Feb. 4, 2010 and serves about 925 subscribers in Greenland, West Fork and Winslow.  The paper is housed in a small building that Co-Publishers Steve Winkler and Susan McCarthy purchased in Dec. 2009 on Centennial Avenue in West Fork.

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