One of the best indicators of the value of a product is longevity.
Does it stand the test of time?
The Sun-Gazette is 210 years old this week. As such, it is the oldest business in Lycoming County, but also among the oldest newspapers in Pennsylvania and the United States.
Much has changed over those 210 years. Newspapers started out as a sort of town crier, informing citizens when there was virtually no other form of communicating local, state and national news and events.
Over the intervening two centuries, the printing of this product has progressed from hammered impressions to computer-generated metal plates that can be placed on the press within minutes of a page's completion. Pages are laid out on a computer screen. Photos, which used to come to life as black and white images when dipped in water in a darkroom, are now generated digitally, with many of the pages of the Sun-Gazette in color.
Graphics and commercial art, which didn't exist when the Sun-Gazette was born, are now a major part of each day's product.
In addition to our print edition, we have a very successful online newspaper with nearly 1.9 million page views in September 2011 alone. Nearly 165,000 of the readers are unique visitors to the site each month.
All these progressive changes in the product remain in lockstep with the Sun-Gazette's informational mission, which has remained unchanged since its inception.
We strive each day to be the definitive printed information product of Northcentral Pennsylvania. That includes the most comprehensive coverage of community events and local news and sports anywhere, but also the best services available to classified and display advertisers.
Of course, the bosses of all this are you, the readers. We try to deliver to you each day a customized news and advertising product that is unique, thorough and informative. And without you, we don't exist.
So we are thankful mostly to our readers on this, our 210th birthday.
With age comes wisdom and we are well aware that we are not perfect. That's part of the challenge in producing a brand new product each day. But in striving for excellence, it is our fervent hope that a quality product is being delivered to you each day.
Thank you for allowing us to be part of your daily life. Our promise is to reward you with our best effort each day to remain, both in print and on line, the newspaper of record for the region.