You’ll Find Much To Like About ‘Right-Sized’ Herald

Published 3:15 pm Thursday, July 23, 2015

Come Wednesday, The Farmville Herald will be proof that good things can come in smaller packages.

A 3-inch reduction in the width of our pages will make the Herald easier for you, our readers, to handle and will save us significant dollars on newsprint — money that can be redirected to improving the content of your hometown newspaper.

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A smaller page won’t mean less news. In fact, you’ll get more local news designed more attractively, and organized in a way that gets you to your favorite content quicker.

Some highlights of what to expect:

• While the page shrinks, the text of our news stories will actually get bigger. If your eyesight, like mine, is fading as you age, you won’t have to strain as much.

• Sports coverage will gain much more prominence, leading off the second section of each edition. This reflects our readers’ intense interest in coverage of local athletes and teams. In addition to enhanced sports content, many sports photographs will now be published in color.

• A more vibrant Opinion page will accommodate more local voices than ever before. Readers can contribute to the page in four different ways: by writing a letter to the editor; by writing a guest column for a spot branded “Your Turn”; by casting your vote in our reader poll at; or by making a comment about a local issue on our website or on our Facebook page, excerpts of which will be printed in a spot entitled “Your Say.”

• Our new Life section will feature a full cover story on an interesting person, place or organization in the community, along with a weekly devotional written by area pastors. Lifestyle Editor Marge Swayne’s social news and the contributions of beloved community columnists like Edwina Covington will fill the section’s inside pages. We will also continue our recent tradition of re-publishing the front page of the Herald from 50 years ago.

• A new front-page feature entitled “You Asked” will help us write about the topics that interest you. Send us a question to about anything related to Farmville, Prince Edward, Buckingham and Cumberland; we’ll go find the answer and write a story about it.

• A more robust offering of public records, including weekly lists of people who have been arrested by area law-enforcement entities.

• A to Z Kids News, a page generously sponsored by local businesses, will offer games and educational activities for our young readers.

A couple of things will go away.

• We will no longer publish TV listings. There are simply too few of you who still use our newspaper to guide your television viewing choices for us to continue to devote so much space to that purpose. If you are a cable or satellite subscriber, you can now find anything you want to know about TV programming right on your screen.

• We will also get out of the weather forecasting business, in part because our schedule of printing the newspaper the day before you receive it makes us pretty lousy at forecasting. Oftentimes, the forecast has changed before we even crank up the press. A comprehensive, real-time weather forecast is available 24/7 at, and our television and radio friends also do a terrific job on that front. We will continue to cover significant weather news as it happens.

The new size will take a little getting used to, but we’re confident that you will find the “new and improved” Farmville Herald to be just that. After reading a few issues of the new format, give us a call or drop us a line and let us know what you like, what you dislike, and what you think we can do better. We want your feedback.

STEVE STEWART is publisher of The Farmville Herald. His email address is