WELCH, WV (WOAY) – “They need someone local telling them, this is real.”
In late 2017, the owner of the Welch News told his staff that they were going to sell. On May 8th, 2018, an internal offer was made to keep the paper open for business.
“We wanted to keep it alive,” said Publisher/Owner Melissa Nester. “For our community. For the elderly population here. For the people who don’t have internet access.”
In order to remain open, adjustments were necessary. The staff evolved in their roles, but kept in touch with a population that still relies on print for its primary news source.
“With the online aspect of it, I feel like we have been able to keep up with that more,” said Editor Derek Tyson. “We’re reaching a lot of people that don’t live here anymore, but they’re still very connected to this place.”
The Welch News expanded to Wyoming County during COVID-19 with the hope of widening its platform.
“During the pandemic we bought the ‘Pineville Independent Herald’ to maybe, one day do the same over in that area,” Nester said. “We’re slowly working that one.”
Concerns remain about the print business long-term, but hope is still present.
“I try to be optimistic,” Tyson said. “We’re definitely facing some challenges with legislation and things right now.
“I feel like everybody that works here, we’re servants. We really love people.”