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Miller column: We're updating our space, but we aren't going anywhere

Perhaps you've heard rumors about us.

They've likely been some variation of we're closing our doors, moving out of town or, worse yet, closing up shop. None of those rumors is true.

We have sold our building, but that's a good thing. Our building has been way too large for our needs for years. It also hasn't been updated for decades, so it was high time for some cosmetic changes.

This is where the building's new owners, remodeling experts Sperling Modern Home out of Ottertail, come in.

Sperling plans to remodel a portion of our current building for our use, creating a modern, up-to-date space for us to use while we report on important news and sports happening in and around Perham.

The space will be perfectly suited for our needs and won't feature any carpet from the 1970s.

We aren't cutting staff, moving out of town or closing our doors. We plan to continue to do what we've done well for more than 100 years—report on news that's truly important to Perham.

While we're at it, let's dispel some other rumors that have been floating around:

There's nothing in the paper: I look at our newspaper every week, and so do the majority of adults in Perham. I see news in every issue. Lots of great news, actually. Whether it's a well-written profile of an interesting Perham citizen, a story highlighting an upcoming fundraiser or a story celebrating the achievements of the Perham robotics or Knowledge Bowl teams, we report on these important things each and every week.

The newspaper is dying/nobody reads the newspaper: Although it's true that our print circulation has slightly declined, our overall readership has never been higher. In the past year, has had more than 1.2 million pageviews. Our online numbers, coupled with our print circulation, means we're stronger than ever before and continue to be the best news source for Perham.

Being owned by Forum Communications is a bad thing: Yes, the Marcil family (the ones who own the entire company and all of its print and TV outlets) is not from Perham. But that doesn't mean they don't care about keeping strong community journalism alive here. They're invested in this community's newspaper, as well as countless others across Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Being a part of a larger company allows us access to strong reporting from nearby communities like Detroit Lakes, Wadena and Park Rapids. When you see a Forum story in our paper, it's because we think it's relevant to Perham. Having top-notch journalists in other similar communities, as well as talented people we can lean on at our corporate office, only helps our product.

We're not from here: Our two main reporters both live in town. They spend their money here, send their kids to school here and call Perham home. They are active in the community and it shows in the quality and depth of their reporting. Our editor and I call Detroit Lakes home, but that doesn't mean we take any less pride in telling important stories in this vibrant community.

I'm not saying we're perfect. We're far from it. We're human. We make mistakes. Sometimes, we miss a story. But we want every newspaper or magazine we publish to be better than the last one. And we have a group of committed, talented people who work hard every single day toward that goal. We're proud of our work.

We plan to stick around for another 100-plus years to serve this community, and we hope you stick around for the ride.

Jason Miller

Jason Miller is publisher of the Perham Focus and Wadena Pioneer Journal. Miller has held various roles for Forum Communications and started working part-time in the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead's sports department in 1999. 

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