With this edition, our little summer celebration for the thirtieth anniversary of The PROGRESS comes to a close. The first edition of the PROGRESS rolled off the presses and into Moapa Valley homes on September 2, 1987. Since that time, the community has seen a lot of progress – and a lot of The PROGRESS. The Moapa Valley has grown significantly in that time. We have seen boom years like no other; and an economic decline and recession without parallel. Through all of that, we have felt privileged to chronicle the local news in our pages. We are proud to be the oldest continuously published newspaper in northeastern Clark County and one of the last independently-owned and -operated community newspapers in the state of Nevada.
We have had a lot of fun in recent editions with our anniversary celebrations. We have devoted some print space to glancing back through more distant archives reviewing some of our past reporting. We have been able to smile a little at how far the community has come. We hope that our readers have found these little blasts from the past interesting as well.
When going through the old editions, it was quickly apparent how much has changed in the look and feel of the PROGRESS. When our founder, John Z. Robison began operations, the newspaper layout was done by pasting strips of paper onto a large pasteboard. Full four-color processing was not available.
Photos were processed from film in a darkroom. And John spent one day a week travelling to the city with his paste-board layout working out the details with the printer. Nowadays, the whole thing, photos and all, is done digitally. It is transmitted via the internet directly to the printer. Four-color process printing is no longer a distant luxury but a regular necessity. And if we need to converse with the printer at all, we email or pick up the phone. When the computers are running correctly, the new way is a whole lot easier.
Nevertheless, we celebrate the career efforts of ‘Uncle John!’ Starting any small business in a rural community is a major endeavor. But a newspaper, with its relentless weekly deadline and never-ending workflow, poses particular challenges. John faced those challenges, almost single-handedly, throughout the formative years of the PROGRESS. In the process he set the tone, and brought together all the elements, for a quality hometown newspaper. At this anniversary celebration, we commemorate John’s efforts and his vision. We laud his many years devoted to bettering the Moapa Valley community.
We would also express appreciation to our loyal readership. It is the people of the community that make the newspaper interesting. It has been a pleasure to cover the many events, happenings, sporting contests, state championships, spelling bees, concerts, weddings, graduations, performances, triumphs, defeats, comedies and tragedies of the past thirty years in Moapa Valley. To pay tribute to our readers, we have celebrated over the past eight weeks with our special Local Business Bingo. In the process we have given out around $1000 in prizes to lucky readers who entered our drawings. This is admittedly just a token. But we hope that our neighbors and friends in the community feel our deep appreciation for their unique roles in making the Moapa Valley the wonderful place it is to live and do business.
Most importantly, we recognize our fantastic local business sector. Whatever constructive role that the PROGRESS may have played in Moapa Valley over the years, it was only possible because of the support of local businesses; their trusting in us to carry their advertising. We simply cannot say ‘thank you’ enough to these businesses and their owners. Our local businesses are truly the lifeblood of the community in so many ways. Once again, we encourage our readership to watch our ads, to give the local businesses a try and keep your shopping local.
Finally, while so much has changed with the PROGRESS in thirty years, there are some things that have not, and will not, change. We are still committed to retaining our local small-town feel. We will continue to keep our coveraged laser-focus on the community. We pledge to remain fully accessible to our readers.
We value your views and always encourage your feedback. In short, at the PROGRESS, we love our hometown community. It has been that way for thirty years now. And we expect it to go on for at least another thirty. No one covers the Moapa Valley like the Moapa Valley PROGRESS.