Editor’s note: Jack is taking a turn this week.

First of all, what does “circulation” really mean?

We order 5,600 newspapers printed every week. (We used to order only 2,800 in the paid-paper days.) The press usually overprints somewhat, somewhere between 5,600 to 5,700. All of them are “distributed,” which means they go to points from where readers can get them.

But, as we use the term, “circulation” means newspapers actually in the hands of readers. So, we actually count how many are distributed, and then we count the number that come back from distribution points. Those that don’t come back are in “circulation.” Ask to see our circulation records; I’ll show them to you.

If you look at the bottom of this page in our masthead, you’ll see that each week we tell you how many papers were distributed and how many went into circulation. (It takes two weeks before we have all the figures.) You can see, below, that the distribution of the March 30 Town Crier was 5,700. The circulation was 5,551.

That’s a huge percentage of distributed papers in circulation because we don’t just distribute, we re-distribute and re-re-distribute. I’ll be glad to show you how that works.

Our old paid-paper circulation was only about 2,350. Now, it’s 236 percent of that old circulation figure — way more than double.

So, Town Crier newspaper advertisers are now getting more than twice as much exposure for their ads due to more than twice as much actual circulation. Your ads are bigger, due to our new broadsheet format, and they’re sharper and brighter than ever before.

Why are we reminding you of this?

Because when you advertise your business in your local newspaper, you don’t just let customers see how valuable and successful your business is. You also support the one entity that watchdogs your community — including nine tax-payer-funded governmental bodies that no one else monitors — no one. No other advertising choice you can make results in the service to your community provided by your local newspaper.

A newspaper is a community watchdog that publishes the good with the bad. It warns of danger, advises of opportunity, challenges authority, praises accomplishment, investigates irregularity, marvels at art, exposes abuse, celebrates life and publishes its readers’ letters.

No other publication does this for the Hill — only the Town Crier. We must keep this service for our community. Advertising your business in official Town Crier publications — particularly our newspaper itself — is the only way we can achieve our goal of saving the Town Crier — and keeping it coming.

You count on us to watchdog our community. We count on you to make that possible.

Jack Clark

Co-publisher and man of a thousand hats