March 14, 2019
Writer: Virginia Henry
With smart devices in everyone’s hands and the internet dominating the news industry, it’s unusual to see a brand-new newspaper. Adams Publishing, a family owned business that started in 2013, is going against the norm. You may recognize the name in connection with the Idaho State Journal or the Post Register. They print both of those papers and many others.
Adams Publishing just started up another paper called the Bingham County Chronicle.
The reception for this paper has reflected the excitement of the people.
“It’s exceeded our expectations really,” said Travis Quast, the regional president and publisher for eastern Idaho. He said the response from the county has been overwhelmingly positive.
Bingham County used to have a localized paper called The Shelley Pioneer. That paper was around for 112 years. It stopped printing Dec. 27, 2017, two years after Adams Publishing purchased its owner.
“Obviously having a newspaper focused on such a small community is really tough,” Quast explained. “You just don’t have a large subscriber base or large advertising base.”
Ever since the Shelley Pioneer closed down, Adams publishing has had its eye on that area of the community.
Now, the Bingham County Chronicle will serve the residents of Shelley and the rest of the county.
Adams Publishing seems to have a unique approach to the news world. It started picking up eastern Idaho newspapers in 2015 and 2017.
“[It’s] very vested in local journalism and serving the local communities that they are in,” Quast said.
He said the secret sauce is covering the local news and content, not focusing on national and state news. People can access national news from countless sources. But there is a limited number of places to find out what’s happening in their own community.
“We’re the largest news gathering organization by far in this region,” Quast said. “And so again, that gives us that ability to really dive deep into the local issues and the local news that matter to people every day.”
Quast explained that the editors from each paper talk about the stories they are covering each morning. This enables each paper to cover issues more in depth. The cooperation also helps the papers cover the entire region effectively.
Adams Publishing doesn’t just focus on its papers. It produces videos, podcasts, updates its website and much more. Quast said the company is striving to reach its customers in the ways they want to be reached.
“I wouldn’t say our readership is declining,” Quast said, in reference to print, “in fact I would say it’s growing.”
What else makes these newspapers unique? Quast explained the publishers, editors, and reporters see their customers in the grocery story. They are a part of the community they report on. They aren’t just coming into an area to report on the big news story and then leave like a national news reporter might do.
“There is a commitment there to make sure we are accurate and fair and balanced in our coverage and reporting,” Quast said.
When it comes to looking to the future, Quast said the company will continue to invest in local journalism. “We really have a goal to dedicate as much time and resources to covering what we call enterprise work. Telling the stories that nobody else is telling. It may not be the accident of the day or the fire or something like that. But it’s taking a deep dive on the issues that are affecting the communities and helping make a difference. Cause I think when people are informed then they’re empowered to participate and make a difference in their communities.”
For those residents of Bingham County who want to get the new Bingham County Chronicle, one will automatically come with a subscription to the Idaho State Journal or the Post Register at no extra charge. If you don’t have one of those daily papers, you can call and subscribe to the Chronicle. Due to the Chronicle only running five days of the week, you will also get to choose one of the daily papers to accompany it.