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New ownership will bring changes to The Roanoke Times, but our duty to our readers remains the same.
Friday, May 31, 2013
Faithful readers of our printed page, patrollers of our website and digital products, and the rowdy regulars who populate our blogs are accustomed to change. This week, The Roanoke Times marks a particularly noteworthy milestone in its 126-year history with its sale to BH Media Group, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
In an industry where percolation is perpetual, two constants have been our commitment to this community and to ethical, high-quality journalism. Berkshire Hathaway shares those values. It is a forward-looking, resourceful company with high expectations for this newspaper and an inherent understanding of our mission.
In his 2012 annual report, Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett wrote, “If you want to know what’s going on in your town — whether the news is about the mayor or taxes or high school football — there is no substitute for a local newspaper that is doing its job. . . . Wherever there is a pervasive sense of community, a paper that serves the special informational needs of that community will remain indispensable to a significant portion of its residents.”
Frank Batten Jr., chairman of Landmark, put it more pithily Thursday in announcing the sale of The Roanoke Times when he observed, “It’s a newspaper that’s intensely loved by the readers.”
Our readers do not smother us in daily adoration. Indeed, they most often contact us with complaints ranging from quibbles to deafening outrage. But their calls and emails remind us of the attachment residents of the Roanoke and New River valleys have to this publication.
The coming days and months will bring occasion for more changes, some subtle and others more visible, but none so overwhelming that we become strangers in our own land. We hope our readers will continue to feel they are an important part of this latest metamorphosis. Indeed, we are duty bound to bring you along on our journey.
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