National Newspaper Week began on October 2. While it’s not the typical holiday that most families celebrate, it provides a great opportunity to take a moment and recognize all the ways local newspapers are making a difference in communities across America.
If you’re reading this, you probably already understand why it’s important to have a healthy newspaper in your town.
By subscribing or advertising in your local newspaper, you are providing much-needed support to keep trained professional journalists covering the issues important to you. Your local newspaper is committed to being the local watchdog, covering city government, utilities and school boards to make sure your tax dollars are spent properly.
But there are many other ways newspapers serve their readers and communities, things that even regular readers don’t always consider.
Newspapers are reliable. Unlike content you may see on social media, or even from national publications or cable news channels, you can be sure that your local newspaper’s news is professionally gathered, verified and edited. Even editorials and letters to the editor go through a rigorous process to get the facts right. You may not always agree, but you can trust that what is published has followed the highest journalistic standards. You may not agree with the positions on your newspaper’s editorial page, but you probably realize that their goal is to provide you with objective and unbiased media coverage in the rest of the newspaper.
Newspapers protect your right to know. In addition to covering what is happening in your local government, most newspapers serve another essential purpose by publishing public notices. A public notice is a notice issued by government agencies regarding proposed actions, zoning proposals, tax initiatives or other legislative proceedings. Most local governments are required to publish them in local newspapers, so that all citizens have the opportunity to find out what is happening and, if necessary, to take appropriate action. Newspapers provide wide community distribution. Moving a public notice to a municipal website would hide the notice. Logs help keep your government’s actions transparent!
Newspapers are more than printed. Your local newspapers provide high quality information in the format that works best for you. Newspapers have dynamic websites, apps, social media channels and newsletters, and they’ve made significant advancements in digital platforms to ensure you get the news you need when you need it. want and how you want. Newspaper audiences are bigger than ever thanks to the wide reach offered by print and digital channels combined.
Newspapers are local. Your newspaper is local, produced by local citizens who ride the same streets, shop in the same stores and have children in the same schools as you.
The goal of the local newspaper is to make the community stronger, safer and healthier. The editor and staff share the same concerns as all the other residents.
Your local newspaper makes a difference in your community in so many ways! That’s true every week, not just during National Newspaper Week!
Dean Ridings is the CEO of America’s Newspapers, an organization that serves more than 1,600 newspapers in the United States and Canada.