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Extra! Phoenix-area newspaper hits 103 years of publication

LISTEN: Extra! Phoenix-area newspaper hits 103 years of publication

BUCKEYE, Arizona — With the advent of social media, newspapers around the country have struggled to stay alive. Some have even shutdown.

But more than 100 years after opening its doors on Feb. 12, 1912, the Buckeye Valley News is still reporting the news on a weekly basis.

“We cover not only Buckeye, but Phoenix, Scottsdale, and all of the surrounding cities,” editor Sharon Torres said.

The paper’s Fourth Street offices are home to a museum, complete with old printing equipment and an old outhouse that once belonged to Dorothy Huntsman, a local pioneer.

Despite its history, Torres said the paper was almost shutdown over the years.

“We’ve almost closed down a few times,” she said. “The newspaper has been sold and resold.”

Torres said the closest the paper came to writing its own obituary was seven years ago, when the city mulled posting its legal notices elsewhere. It also lacked an online presence.

“We didn’t have a web page,” she said. “We didn’t have a lot of the items that we have now.”

A decision by the city to continue using the paper to publish notices and a dip into social media saw readership jump to more than 40,000 strong.

Torres said she couldn’t imagine Buckeye without the Valley News.

“This means so much for this city,” she said. “To lose this newspaper? I can’t see that happening. No. We’re not going to lose. We’re winners.”