Column – The last 20 years

Published 5:55 pm Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The paper has changed greatly over the past 150 years, and the most recent 20 are no exception. With the increased use of the internet, the News-Herald has changed how we make and distribute the news. 

In July of 2007, the entire print paper got an overhaul in both looks and content. A few of the changes made included a focused look at North Suffolk news each edition. A new design was implemented that was easier to read and created opportunities for more local news and photos. Also included in the overhaul was a price drop from $1 on Sunday and 50 cents during the week to 25 cents every day.

On April 28, 2008, Suffolk was hit with a powerful tornado. The next day’s front page provided a look at the devastation. There were no fatalities in Suffolk, said city and police officials. There was a death during the storm, but it was not a result of, or connected to, the tornado. About 120 people with injuries were transported to medical facilities in the region, said Dana Woodson, spokeswoman for the city. Some 3,200 customers were without power in the city. Buildings were flattened in Burnett’s Mill and Hillpoint Farms, as well as a few on Murphy’s Mill Road and about eight buildings in Driver. Countless vehicles had their twisted metal bodies strewn about the Route 10 corridor.

Email newsletter signup

In March of 2009 the News-Herald joined the growing masses on Facebook and Twitter. We continue to use these social media platforms to distribute the news quickly and effectively. 

At the end of 2009, Suffolk Publications, the parent company of the Suffolk News-Herald, launched Suffolk Living, a quarterly, full-color magazine aimed at spotlighting the “people, places and things that make Suffolk such a wonderful place.” 

On July 5, 2011, the front page declared “Let FREEdom Ring.” The News-Herald dropped the subscription price and became free at newstands around the city. “We want to make community news available to every citizen, regardless of ability to pay,” Editor Res Spears said.

In August 2018, amid rising costs in the paper that is used to print the News-Herald, the decision was made to drop the Saturday publication. In 2020, with further rises in printing costs coupled with the strains of COVID, publication dropped to two days a week. 

In the early morning hours of August 4, 2020, a tornado spawned from tropical storm Isaias ripped through the Suffolk downtown area. Included in the damages was the Saratoga Street Suffolk News-Herald building. Following the damage of the tornado, the News-Herald moved into an office building on Main Street across from the courthouse. 

This past Oct. 1, we made the move to publish once a week while providing daily news online. 

Although much has changed through the years, the Suffolk News-Herald is your source of Suffolk news as it has been for 150 years.

I hope you enjoyed the journey through the decades this past year. Look for more Suffolk News-Herald history in the upcoming Suffolk Living Magazine set to be on the streets by the end of November. I would love to hear your stories and memories that are tied to the Suffolk News-Herald.