From the 1800s to the 1960s, three independent newspapers worked to inform the people of Harrison County: the Freeport Press-Herald, the Scio Herald, and the Cadiz Republican. But in 1968, the three papers merged to form the Harrison News-Herald. While the name “Harrison News-Herald” has only been around for 53 years, the legacy of the three newspapers that formed today’s paper has lived for more than 200 years. The News-Herald’s staff works together to put out 2,350 printed papers a week and gratify over 4,000 — and climbing — email subscribers.
The Harrison News-Herald isn’t confined to Harrison County, or even to the state of Ohio. Current News-Herald readers hail from Colorado, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Nebraska, Arizona, Indiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington, to name a few.
While local residents can easily get the Harrison News-Herald delivered to their door for $40 a year, longer distance readers pay $70 to accommodate for extra postage and logistics. Per request, the News-Herald staff even mails a weekly batch of papers first-class to be delivered on time hundreds or even thousands of miles away.
And the circulation isn’t even 100% contained within the United States. One Canadian subscriber has single-handedly made the Harrison News-Herald an international publication. Long-time subscriber Debra-Jo Sujka currently lives in Toronto, a city in the province of Ontario, and she’s an avid reader of the News-Herald. Sujka has roots in both Harrison and Athens Counties; she grew up in Harrison County and went to school in Athens, Ohio, where she was part of Ohio University’s Class of 1970. “I like to find out what’s happening there in Harrison County,” Sujka stated. “I do admit, I will look at the sheriff’s reports to see if anyone’s gotten into mischief, but it’s more to see what’s happening, how the county is evolving.”
As mentioned, Sujka has family roots in Harrison County. Her great-niece is the seventh generation to live locally: “Even though I now live in Toronto, Ontario, I still have roots in Harrison County, Ohio.” Sujka says her favorite part of the Harrison News-Herald is “the bits and pieces of history” and that it’s not just Cadiz she likes keeping up with — but the people as well.
“The newspaper is an extension of local culture that Facebook and other platforms cannot recreate. Home is important, and to many, the newspaper allows them to return home. It is not surprising that so many take their subscriptions with them as they move. The News-Herald’s widespread readership is a good reminder that our community spans beyond our county limits.” —Bonnie Rutledge, Owner