Story by Lourice Angie
The Warwick Valley Dispatch and the Warwick Advertiser, the two weekly newspapers that cover the Town of Warwick, received special recognition during a special presentation at the Warwick Town Hall on Thurs., May 11.
With the celebration of the Village of Warwick Sesquicentennial, this honor could not have come at a better time. Warwick Town Supervisor Michael Sweeton commended the work and dedication of each newspaper and explained how much they are needed and appreciated and how they’ve contributed to informing the community.
Sweeton then introduced Warwick Town Historian Dr. Richard Hull, who did not miss a single detail when describing the service of both newspapers since their founding over a century ago.
“They’re two remarkable papers. I felt it was especially appropriate that we recognize the service that these papers have performed,” said Dr. Hull. “These are community papers. It is so critical and so important that we support them by buying advertising space, by buying the papers, and by reading them.”
Dr. Hull believes Warwick is unique because of these two newspapers. Both papers have survived the challenges and change of the times by now offering online editions, always following local events and continuing to maintain very high standards of journalism.
“Today, newspapers are coming under attack for producing ‘fake news.’ Well, the news we’re getting here is not fake; it’s quite accurate and provides wonderful analysis,” said Dr. Hull.
The Warwick Valley Dispatch was founded in 1885 by George F. Ketchum, one of Orange County’s most well-known newspaper men of his time. The paper has remained in the same family since. Staying true to the premise of what local businesses are all about, the Dispatch doesn’t send the newspaper out of town to be printed.
The newspaper is worked on, laid out and actually printed in the Dispatch building, located at 2 Oakland Ave. in the Village of Warwick. The paper is printed on a Webendorfer offset web press that was purchased in 1972 from The Murray Printing Co. in Forge Village, MA.
The Warwick Valley Dispatch is the official newspaper for the Town of Warwick; the Villages of Warwick, Florida and Greenwood Lake; the Florida Union Free School District, the Warwick Valley Central School District and the Greenwood Lake Union Free School District; Florida, Greenwood Lake and Albert Wisner Public Libraries; the Warwick Little League; and the Florida, Greenwood Lake, Pine Island and Warwick Fire Districts.
The Warwick Advertiser was established in 1866 as a weekly newspaper. Prior to 1866, local news was published in the newspapers of Goshen and Middletown. The newspaper is published by Straus News, which is a private, family-owned company.
Members of the Warwick Historical Society were recognized for maintaining copies of the papers throughout the years and Sue Gardner, the Official Deputy Town Historian of the Albert Wisner Public Library and Warwick Historical Society, was recognized and asked to come up and speak.
“We’ve been very fortunate to have the unique and wonderful resource to have our papers saved by both certain individuals and the papers themselves. We get hundreds of inquiries from all over the world each year and we are fortunate to say we not only have one but two papers archived to give a better perspective on their ancestors. People are completely blown away by that. In many communities, that is gone. We thank the newspapers for everything they do today and for everything they’ve done in the past that help us be the Warwick we are,” said Gardner.
Owners, representatives, and managing editors of the Warwick Valley Dispatch were then asked to come forward to receive a special plaque that read: “The people of the Town of Warwick wish to express their deep appreciation of your 132 years of distinguished journalism in the cause of understanding and celebrating our community’s proud heritage by Town Supervisor Michael P. Sweeton and Town Historian Richard W. Hull.”
Jeanne Straus, owner of the Warwick Advertiser, shared a few words. She personally thanked Supervisor Michael Sweeton and Dr. Hull for recognizing both legacy media outlets today.
“It’s a particular treat because I think both the Warwick Advertiser and the Warwick Valley Dispatch take a role in helping build community and helping protect democracy very seriously. It’s not so usual to be celebrated as a legacy media outlet, so we really, really appreciate it,” said Straus.
Gene Wright, the owner of the Warwick Valley Dispatch, thanked the community for all of their support.
“I’m neither a Republican nor Democrat, I’m a populist. I want to return to small self-sufficient farms and that kind of stuff. Thank you all for the support,” said Wright.
To subscribe to the Warwick Valley Dispatch, call 986-2216 or subscribe online at www.wvdispatch.com
Congratulations to both papers on their outstanding commitment to keeping the great community informed. It is this kind of loyalty that makes Warwick an amazing place to be a part of.