In 2017, the Clay County Courier-Tribune combined the more than 170-year legacy of community reporting of three sister publications — The Kearney Courier, Liberty Tribune and The Smithville Herald — after more than a decade of collaboration among the trio.
With offices in downtown Liberty and downtown Kearney, its 8,000-plus weekly circulation serves these two cities, Smithville and the surrounding communities in the Northland of the greater Kansas City area with local community, education, government and sports news — both in print and online.
The newspaper has a rich tradition of providing information and commentary on current events. Its opinion page proclaims, "Willing to praise but not afraid to blame,” as it has since the Liberty Tribune’s first edition in 1846. The incorporation of the Tribune makes the Courier-Tribune one of the oldest continuously published newspapers west of the Mississippi River.
In addition to the weekly editions of the newspaper, the Courier-Tribune also produces various specialty publications throughout the year. These include community guides for visitors and residents such as Explore Liberty! and Living In Clay County, as well as the annual Lake Pilot guide to recreation, hunting and fishing at Smithville Lake. Northland Family is a regular addition to the paper the first week of each month. Other custom publishing pieces, including many glossy specialty publications like the annual Northland Healthcare Directory, are also produced by the newspaper staff.
The Courier-Tribune, in conjunction with its sister publication Gladstone Dispatch, conducts the Best of the Northland contest each year, recognizing more than 300 businesses, organizations and individuals selected by newspaper readers as the best in their fields. Write-in voting is conducting in the spring, and winners are announced at an awards reception and in a special publication in the summer
The editorial efforts of the Courier-Tribune staff have garnered hundreds of Missouri Press Association awards in the past decade.
The Courier-Tribune is a division of NPG Newspapers Inc. and News-Press & Gazette Co., a multi-generation, family-owned company based in St. Joseph, Mo. NPG Newspapers publishes community newspapers in northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas, as well as numerous specialty publications.
In addition to newspapers, NPG operates a commercial printing division with an integrated mail services facility, a new data storage company, and various broadcast television and radio stations throughout the western United States, including new Fox, WB and Telemundo affiliates in St. Joseph.