Grateful for hometown newspaper

Published 6:24 pm Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By Nathan Rice

Guest columnist

I remember when I first came to Suffolk and I saw a newspaper box outside of a restaurant. It caught my attention because you don’t see as many of those as you did in the past, and it held my attention because I noticed that it was free.

Email newsletter signup

I opened the box, pulled out a copy of the Suffolk News-Herald and flipped through its pages.

It wasn’t long before I found myself purposefully stopping at locations where I knew I could get a copy of this local paper. It was a unique idea to me: a paper focused solely on one area, one city. Every story was local, and most columnists lived or worked in the city. It was a community paper, and it helped me stay in touch with the happenings of the places closest to me.

I know you’re going to say that I’m biased, but I like the Suffolk News-Herald. There’s something special about a paper that makes you feel like part of a community.

I am grateful to have a paper that focuses solely on the news of our city. Many news outlets report on global news, national news and Virginia news, but the Suffolk News-Herald focuses on news that directly impacts this city. It helps all of us stay connected to our city, and it allows each of us to stay informed on the things happening closest to our homes.

Furthermore, I am grateful that most columns published on this page come from local columnists. The Suffolk News-Herald states that part of its mission is to “serve as a forum where public opinion is valued and shared.”

Columnists share a wide range of views on numerous topics, and I love how the presented views are from those who live in our community. The opinions shared aren’t from some highly paid columnist in New York City or San Francisco. The columns are from my insurance guy, the banker I see when I cash my check, and the pastor of the church down the street. The columnists aren’t unknown individuals who live far away; they are my friends, neighbors and associates.

I admit that I was skeptical when I first saw the Suffolk News-Herald desires “to take an active role in helping Suffolk grow and prosper.” I didn’t understand how a paper could help a city, but the longer I read the Suffolk News-Herald, the more I understood that it does help Suffolk.

This column isn’t an advertisement for the Suffolk News-Herald. The Herald isn’t telling me what to say or sending me a check for my words. I just think that a local news outlet is an important thing for a community to have, and we are lucky enough to be in a city whose paper has remained open and printing.

Like me, I hope that you have grown to appreciate the Suffolk News-Herald and will continue to support it so that it can remain for a long, long time.

Nathan Rice, a Hampton Roads resident since 1988, is a branch operations manager for a regional credit union in Virginia and North Carolina. He has volunteered with children and youth through various organizations for over 15 years. He is interim pastor at Portsmouth Nazarene Church. His email address is