Parma Observer Is 9 Years Old
When the Parma Observer was born in 2009, the world was reeling from a number of momentous changes and dire financial issues associated with that particular time. There was a new Administration in the White House, digging out from a massive recession, the worst since the Great Depression itself, the result of the colossal collapse of Wall Street financial markets at the end of 2008. We were losing as much as 800,00 jobs per month during 2009, the stock market was in the basement and consumer confidence was dismal, to say the least. Most would say that this was not the optimum time to start a brand new business, but my timing has not always been in the proper step, so into the arms of fate I jumped. Many of the businesses and institutions we take for granted today were started in hard times.
The average lifespan of a community newspaper is often very short; sometimes less than a year. The fact that the Parma Observer is here 9 years later has everything to do with the tireless work and help of hundreds of people in our community whose important efforts have pushed this unique citizen powered hyper-local journalism project ever forward. Everyone from our fantastic writers, our dedicated readers, the fabulous advertisers who speak with their crucial financial support, and those who design pages, ads, and perform essential editing tasks. There is another reason as well, which should be mentioned on this proud 9th Anniversary. I've said it before- independent media is the only place left where average people can even hope to have their voices heard, or hear about what their fellow citizens think and believe. Corporate media can't or won't meet their expectations when it comes to meaningful information.
We have been pleased to be the only media resource in Parma, Parma Heights and Seven Hills that provides a place for all citizens and stakeholders in our community to publicly air their information and views for distribution. Even after 9 years, it is interesting to find that many are still not familiar with this concept. Recently, someone came on our facebook page to comment that we should "fire" a writer who had written a story which they did not agree with. I had to explain patiently that these are volunteer citizen journalists and therefore could not be fired. Also mentioned was that the person complaining had the opportunity to write their opinion, which if rationally written, would most likely be printed in the paper as well. We haven't seen their story as of yet, but we're hoping that we will.
Lots of exciting changes have occurred in our area during the past several years, and I have every reason to believe that there are many more to come. Westcreek Conservancy, Young Professionals of Parma, Town Center Development, the future of the former Parmadale site- these are all developments that suggest a new chapter in our beloved community that will benefit all who call this place home or do business here. Anyone who feels that their ideas or participation can help to make a positive contribution should not hesitate to become involved. These are the times that call for far greater action, not less. The Parma Observer remains the vanguard of community powered discourse in the Tri-City Area, and we thank anyone and everyone who has played any part in our success.
Daniel P. McCarthy
I am the publisher of the Parma Observer. Lifetime resident of Parma for over 50 years.