Column: A digital subscription to The McDowell News helps local journalism and keeps you informed about your community | Columnists

A lot has changed since I walked into a newspaper office over 40 years ago at the age of 16 with the crazy idea that maybe I could write something someone would want to read.

There were dozens of people in a building filled with cigarette smoke, the sound of typewriters clanking almost drowning out the editor’s cries that the deadline was approaching and the press would start on time.

Before people sat quietly in groups and stared at their phones, they sat quietly in groups and watched newspapers. You can have the best of both worlds with a digital subscription to The McDowell News. Visit


Today the dozens have been whittled down to a small crew, the smoke has cleared, and the clanking of keyboards is much quieter than those old typewriters, a few of which remain in the back storage room among other old equipment.

One thing hasn’t changed, however. We’re still here, a small but determined team, still telling the McDowell stories, still covering the politicians making the decisions, still reporting the news.

But we do it in different ways. In addition to the print newspaper which we publish five days a week, we operate our website,, which is online 24 hours a day and updated seven days a week. Those who do not subscribe – after receiving several free stories per month – are asked to pay for our work.

It is cheap. We offer different monthly and annual plans. To see what we’re offering now, go to and click the subscribe button in the top right or click on this link. You can also call 844-322-9422.

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