Recently in an NPR Interview, Gettysburg Wire was mentioned by Gettysburg Times basically saying that the information that Gettysburg Wire puts out is taken from their paper.
First, let me say that I have nothing but respect for the Gettysburg Times and anyone who goes into journalism and takes on the responsibility and dedication required to fill that role. We’ve always supported the Gettysburg Times and any other local news sources whenever we can. We’ve shared many posts directly from the Gettysburg Times social media accounts that we follow, and we’ll continue to do so.
I’m not entirely sure how to address this in a way that doesn’t cause a bunch of conflict, but I’m going to try my best. I’ll try to start with explaining what we aren’t.
Gettysburg Wire is not a news source, we’re not a paper, we’re not journalists. We’ve never claimed to be, in fact we’ve tried to debunk that on various occasions both on our blog and on Facebook. The type of work that local news and journalism requires we are more than happy to leave to the professionals. We don’t want to do it.
So what is Gettysburg Wire?
To put it too simply, we’re a local portal. At least we’re trying to be and it’s a process that takes time and testing. We took our initial inspiration from Frederick Maryland Online which was an independent blog that talks about the goings on in Frederick Maryland. We thought to ourselves, “Hey, lets try that, it would be a cool idea to make Adams County a little more hip and interactive online”.
What is our vision of a local portal?
The world is online, and even with Gettysburg being a small town with an older community, we’re still pretty heavily online. Having a place for locals in Adams County to have discussions 24/7 through Adams County PA Locals Facebook Group, advertise their business or post jobs on the Gettysburg Business & Job Board, or simply ask us questions to post and see if anyone knows the answer.
Sometimes that does mean posting news items. We mostly stick to items that the general public may have an interest in, things that are fun, things that might affect the locals. New businesses coming to town, businesses that are leaving, etc. Most of it is county-wide in origin. We don’t post minutes from boroughs or politics or religion.
Gettysburg Wire and its subgroups are just the place to hang out for Adams County Residents. That does mean we’ll talk about stuff in the news, however.
Where do you get your information?
All over really. Having a background in marketing and information management gives us an advantage here because we know how to get information, where to look, and the best ways to get that information out there.
For example, I get digital notifications anytime a news article mentions Gettysburg or Adams County. That’s why sometimes you’ll see me repost news articles from a variety of news sources.
The locals send us PM’s daily with news updates (Thanks Jeanelle!) they found out themselves. For example, we knew Panera bread was coming because a local who happened to be an Uber driver was having lunch at the Panera in Hanover and an employee there told him. The same with the announcement of Marshalls coming to town. Heck, the recent post about the Starbucks on the square I simply saw with my own eyes while driving through town and seeing the poster on the windows.
Residents post about local events, news, or happenings in Facebook groups that we’re a part of. We disseminate that information when we can and post it on Gettysburg Wire.
Honestly the locals are the biggest source, and our greatest source. That doesn’t always mean our source of information is valid, we do try to verify when we can, or we simply ask if anyone knows the answer. Usually someone will speak up that knows.
We also ask questions and get feedback from residents in order to help give them a voice.
Have we pulled information directly from Gettysburg Times? Sure, through direct links we’ve shared to Gettysburg Times posts, not as a copy and paste and attempt to make it our own. Honestly we were only subscribers for 3 months until recently, prior to that we would not have any access to Gettysburg Times news outside of social media and this website has been around for 5 years.
There was an incident where a resident posted a picture about a new business who bought out the Little Red School House and didn’t cite the source, and when we reposted it we found out after the fact that it was taken from Gettysburg Times without credit. Sometimes this happens, unfortunately. We corrected our post to make sure Gettysburg Times had credit. As artists ourselves, we absolutely stand by giving credit for authorship 100%. We also don’t support the practice that we’ve seen some locals do where they post a copy of a Times article for the public, as it takes away from revenue the Times may have received otherwise.
Lastly, we’ve slowly been getting to know a lot of the residents in Adams County either through networking, friends, local events, or business. We follow a lot of them on Facebook and we pay attention. When they post something (Like Panera) that we feel is of interest, we’ll also post about it.
I don’t know, does that make use frauds? We don’t make any money through anything we post. I mean making money would be great, but this site is a labor of love, and we’ve never made money off anything we’ve posted. We simply love living here and want to strengthen the community by keeping us all in open dialogue and supportive growth.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, I want Gettysburg Times and Gettysburg Wire to be friends. If we’ve done anything to offend or if you’ve felt like we’ve taken money away from you, we apologize as that was not our intent. We respect the work that you do, and I hope that there’s room enough in this town for both of us. I hope you will reach out and that we can create more bridges rather than burn them.
Much love from the Wire.