The Waynedale News Celebrates A Historic 90 Years In Print

A Huge Thank You To Our Community!

On September 2nd, The Waynedale News celebrated its 90th year in print! This historic landmark for the newspaper did not come easy. Throughout the years, myself and many Publishers before me, made decisions and sacrifices to continue the newspaper’s legacy. However, the overarching reason that the newspaper continues to print today is due to its great focus and love for the Waynedale community.

(l-r) Brothers, Alex Cornwell, Publisher and Jordan Cornwell, Advertising & Office Manager of The Waynedale News

Many may not know this, but we are now the last independent community newspaper in Fort Wayne. This is especially significant if you are aware of the corporate takeover of news for the sake of controlling the type of news people see. At one time, there was an independent community newspaper in just about every area of town. You might assume the disappearance of these community papers is due to newspapers failing, but it’s actually due to corporate and nationally owned media swallowing them up and eventually closing them. It’s the reason there is no longer a newspaper in Aboite, Georgetown, or Downtown, and we are proud to say that we have prevented that from happening here at The Waynedale News for over 90 years!

In a world of the digital age, our printed newspaper continues to be a primary source of entertainment and news that our 30,000 readers turn to week after week throughout Southwest & South Fort Wayne! At the forefront of our success is care for our community and support for our advertisers; not to mention, our advertising actually works! Simply put, we’re still in business after so many years because our readers love our newspaper to the point that we sometimes run out of papers on news racks, no matter how often we refill them! Our advertising clients also get a great response from their advertising, branding, and PR campaigns.

Our newspaper is not only enjoyable to read with its unique positive message and representation of our community, in the world of negative news, but it also serves as a resource of information for those who need it. Further, the newspaper is ultimately a historical record of the people and happenings of the area for years to come!

I believe that at its heart, a newspaper is a direct representation of the community it serves. It was thirteen years ago, at the age of 22, that I took the helm as Publisher to care for and revitalize the historic newspaper. That’s 325 newspaper editions! Since then, we’ve taken on countless community initiatives that many enjoy as business owners, employees, and residents of the area.

On the surface, one might assume that we are just the average community newspaper, but our day-to-day work is filled with fielding calls from residents about various community topics, sitting in on city/ county improvement meetings, and helping to advise local business owners and residents on what they can do to get involved to help in our community.

Hand-in-hand with other passionate community members, we’ve led the community in almost every major development, initiative, and group in the area. We helped to create The Waynedale Chamber of Commerce, The Waynedale Community Improvement Team, Waynedale Sidewalks & Trails Initiative and more. We’ve organized The Waynedale Community Picnic, A Walk In Waynedale, The Last Elmhurst HS Guided Tours, and holiday related events for Christmas, Easter, fall celebrations, and more.

The best visual of what we’re all about currently resides outside of our office, the Take Some, Leave Some Free Produce Stand; where we welcome anyone to come drop off or pickup produce. There’s no money involved, just an initiative to help connect the many gardeners in our area, who have extra produce with other community members who would enjoy fresh, locally grown food. For us, this is a true representation of neighbors helping neighbors.

Of course, none of this would be possible without the many community members who write, edit, design, work with business advertising and deliver the newspaper. Our staff and volunteer staff members meld together like clockwork and everyone does a fantastic job to get the newspaper into all of the lovely readers’ hands week after week. Not many people get to work with their brother every day, but I’m thankful I do! Jordan keeps us motivated as an Office Manager and keeps the newspaper funded in our Advertising Department. He’s the former President of the Waynedale Business Chamber and has served as a volunteer at many community events. And when I’m out in working in our community, he’s at the office making sure we’re on track to put out our next edition.

In the era of the internet and a paperless world, something that we’re keeping in perspective is that we’ll only be in operation as long as our community wants to keep supporting us. You might think with our newspaper full of ads, that it would be a no-brainer for local businesses to see the success in others and place an ad. But one of our largest struggles is to help new business owners, who often think their social media “likes” equal sales and to help them understand the importance and significance of supporting the traditional newspaper; especially one that is so community focused. And the reason we’re still here after 90 years is that our advertising actually works. We are so very thankful to the many businesses who we can support, tell people about, and use the advertising dollars to keep us going!

And finally, thank you to all the readers who enjoy our newspaper from edition to edition. It is so endearing to receive letters and donations from our readers! It truly pumps us up and keeps us going. Especially during the times that funding is tight and expenses are going up each month, your donations are becoming needed even more than ever to support us in continuing our community efforts, including helping our newspaper continue to roll off the presses and into your hands.

Since the newspapers’ humble beginning in 1932, I wonder if the original Publisher, Arden McCoy could have envisioned the long legacy his efforts have produced. I believe in our community, and I am so overjoyed at reaching this 90-year landmark with the support of our community!

If you would like to donate to support our community efforts, please stop in or send a check to The Waynedale News 2505 Lower Huntington Road Fort Wayne, IN 46809. Or donate online using venmo/cashapp waynedalenews or with a credit or debit card at waynedalenews.com/donate

Alex Cornwell

Alex Cornwell

The Owner & Publisher of The Waynedale News. Alex is a community leader and founder of various organizations, events & improvement initiatives in the area. He is also the recipient of 2019's Allen County Vandeveer Impact Award and 2012's University of Saint Francis' Distinguished Young Alumni Award. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer