James Luckey speaks at Beale Memorial Library

Amanda Hernandez, Reporter

Publisher and news editor James Luckey from the Bakersfield News Observer spoke at the Beale Memorial Library on Oct. 4. 

A large portion of the audience were people from older generations who had interest in the newspaper. However, there were a few students who trickled in. 

He opened his speech by explaining that the Bakersfield News Observer opened in 1977 and has never missed a week of publication in more than 40 years.

One point that Luckey highlighted was that they are an African American company and serve those types of audiences. 

man standing at podium speaking
James Luckey speaks on behalf of the Bakersfield News Observer at Beale Memorial Library. (Amanda Hernandez)

When asked how the Observer handles coverage of various issues, Luckey said, “We try to inform our communities of what is going on and never try to persuade them. Our job is to report the news.” 

Luckey also told audience that the Observer has a lot of African American employees because it is a family-owned business. However, there are also employees of different backgrounds. 

Luckey also emphasized the continued importance of the Observer as printed paper with a digital modality. He explained, “My thing is that there are older people who don’t like digital newspapers, and there are younger generations who have never touched a hard copy of a newspaper. We need to drive both sides and it doesn’t hurt one way or another if you are covering all aspects.” 

a stack of printed newspapers
The Bakersfield News Observer continues to print hard copies of their newspaper. (Amanda Hernandez)

He mentioned how they previously had a publication with a barcode to scan. This helped appeal to older and younger readers because the younger generation was able to scan the barcode and see digital content. However, their sole purpose was to get younger people to pick up the newspaper in hopes that other parts of it may spark their interest.The Bakersfield Observer has a website and also posts consistently on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Linkedin.  

However, they plan to continue printing hard copies that are available for purchase them at the Bakersfield Police Department off of Truxtun Avenue.