Her is our Credo, written by me during the time when I operated The Beaufort Tribune as a daily online newspaper:
We invite readers to review our Credo, the first words we published when we first reincarnated this newspaper in print in 1999 and on the Internet as a commercial venture in 2009. They are words first uttered in The Beaufort Tribune in 1876, and they remain our Credo today, to wit:
It was an enigma to most people why this paper was started and but few have ever solved it, but there was to us a good and sufficient reason and the people who have sustained it have seen that there was a field for Independent Journalism in this County.
Winchell Mansfield French, founder and original publisher
The Beaufort Tribune, November 22, 1876
The Beaufort Tribune, founded 1874 at Tabby Manse, Beaufort, SC, by Winchell Mansfield French, is a publication of Hometown Local Media, Inc. It was reincarnated in 1999 at Tabby Manse as an occasional local printed broadsheet to address substantive matters of local importance not being covered by the printed daily newspaper in Beaufort. In 2005 it became an occasional on-line newspaper.
The Beaufort Tribune has expanded its coverage and frequency of updates to fill the void caused by the decline of printed daily and weekly newspapers serving the Beaufort area. On April 13, 2009, it announced it was open for business as a commercial on-line newspaper with paid advertising as its revenue base.
On May 6, 2009, it became the first of what is planned to be a series on hometown local on-line newspapers under the ownership of Hometown Local Media, Inc.
Updates in content appear online daily in response to popular demand and the newsworthiness of events and commentary.
Independent thought, community news, and commentary are staples of this publication.
Postscript: Several months ago a reader asked us in her letter to the editor to define the role of The Beaufort Tribune in the community. “Is The Beaufort Tribune a newspaper or a tabloid?”, she asked.
The short answer is that we are a newspaper.
Here’s our long answer:
The role of a newspaper is:
- To exist. To do so, it must have a revenue stream, in this case paid advertising.
- To obtain information, in this case through the hard work of going out and getting it.
- To report. To do so, it must have a medium of delivery, in this case the Internet.
- To express opinions, both yours and ours, and to influence public opinion.
- To deliver advertising for the benefit of advertisers and readers.
- To have readers.
Regarding the word “tabloid”, it has many meanings, the breadth of which can be read in this Wikipedia article. The Beaufort Tribune fits best within the first meaning of the word “tabloid” expressed at the beginning of that article:
- “a smaller newspaper format per spread . . . that focuses on local-interest stories and entertainment, often distributed free of charge.”
Please note that this definition has to do with format, content and price:
- Our newspaper format is dictated by the confines of your computer screen or hand-held device, thus “a smaller format per spread.”
- Our newspaper content is indeed “local-interest stories and entertainment.”
- And, glory be, we bring this newspaper to you “free of charge.”
The operative word is “newspaper.” We are a newspaper.