March 2, 2021

Bill Blauvelt has spent the past 50 years at the Superior Express in Superior, Nebraska, while also managing the Jewell County Record and Nuckolls County Locomotive-Gazette. With limited retail in the communities, the newspapers rely on commercial printing and advertising from social events and special sections. So, in the early months of the pandemic, the Jewell County Record and Superior Express were combined into one publication.

For the first time in 50 years, Blauvelt said he could not take photos at high school graduation. Although he remembers living through the polio epidemic in the 1950s, he worried about what would remain for advertising after this pandemic and the continuing problems for newspaper delivery with the postal service.

“The post office has delayed our deliveries so bad, and they’re talking about doing it some more,” he said. “They’re driving business away by slowing the delivery of the mail, and I attribute much of our circulation loss to the post office.”

Listen to the oral history interview:

Read the transcript.

See the Superior Express from April 16, 2020.

See the Superior Express from May 7, 2020.

See the Superior Express from May 22, 2020.

See more from The Essential Workers, an oral history project tracking the experiences of locally owned newspapers in Mid-America during the pandemic.

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Teri Finneman is an associate professor of journalism at the University of Kansas. She previously worked as a print journalist and multimedia correspondent covering state…
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