From my Desk: Importance of Local Newspapers

I remember when I was young I would go to my grandparents house and search their living room table for the newspaper. When I found it (and I always did) I would clumsily turn the giant thin pages to the comics section. When I was done with the comics I would give a half-hearted effort at folding the paper back up before playing with Lincoln logs or go run around outside. Besides that experience, I didn’t really read newspapers besides occasional quick reads of stories that caught my eyes from newspapers laying around when I was bored.

But times are changing.

Other than grandparents, I don’t know anyone in my family who reads the paper. My parents get their news from online news sources and I sometimes read news articles on social media or just hear about political news from my friends on social media/in person.

The younger someone is the less likely they are to read newspapers. Before I didn’t think much about that, but now that I am an Editor this fact saddens me. I understand and sympathize that these days its tough to trust the major news networks.

Most seem very slanted one way or another and its tough to know what is fact from opinion. I do think that with radio, tv, online articles, posts on Facebook/Twitter, and general conversation at relatives that we can get oversaturated with negative news. Many of us just want to get away from it all.

But I think by not reading local news we’re missing out.

Local news hits much closer to home. Literally. Local newspapers can tell you what’s going on in the community, who’s birthday it is, who won the football game, featured articles from those you know, history about your hometown that you never knew, and more!
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Local news tries to stay away from national political content and focuses on local events. We try our best to stay factual and not stray into opinion or gossip.

Many people may not understand the importance of local newspapers now, but if they become a thing of the past I think people will start to miss it. I just pray that day never comes.

(Originally published in the newspaper The Post Dispatch on 9/30/19) 

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