Newspapers still deliver ‘ for YOU
OK, show-of-hands time. How many of you reading this article have ever attended your local city council or town board meeting? Hmm, I see a few hands waving.
How about during the month of September? Not many hands left aloft.
How about every city council or town board meeting for the last year? Last five years? Last 10?
Don’t see any hands up now.
Question: Do you know who has?
Answer: Reporters from this newspaper.
Like a lot of good things about this country, newspapers and the job they do on behalf of the public get taken for granted ‘ like expecting clean water to come out of your tap when you open it, or that the police or fire department phone will be answered when you call.
But some people think that might be changing, that newspapers are becoming more a part of the past than the future.
Yes, newspapers, often called collectively The Press, despite being the only profession specifically protected by the U.S. Constitution, are encountering difficulties these days not imagined only a few years ago.
This week ‘ Oct. 4 through 10 ‘ is National Newspaper Week.
This observance used to be more of a salute to the role that newspapers play in keeping the public informed, but this year has been given new immediacy as we read of venerable newspapers closing or going to Web-only publications. Or household-name newspapers like the Chicago Tribune filing bankruptcy. Or the two major newspapers in Detroit eliminating home delivery four days a week.
Now that’s pretty grim news, and there’s more of it.
But it’s news that gives a distorted picture of the newspaper industry.
Most newspapers in Indiana, while suffering through the same economic doldrums that nearly all businesses are experiencing, are still hard at it, covering city council and town board meetings, attending school board meetings, reporting from the police and sheriff’s stations, covering high school sports, printing honor rolls, tromping around the county fairgrounds to count blue ribbons, printing obituaries, birth and en-gagement announcements and 50th anniversary wedding stories.
And lots, lots, lots more.
Think what your town would be like without a newspaper. We could all just blog ourselves to death, but about what? Newspapers, we like to say, write the first draft of history; bloggers, Googlers and all the other news ‘aggregators’ feed off that.
So, despite all the changes in how we can receive news and information these days, we still need newspapers.
And, Newspapers Still Deliver.
That’s the theme of a campaign Indiana newspapers will be promoting starting this week.
And, although we don’t need a National Newspaper Week to kick off such a campaign, this is as good a time as any to remind you, our readers, of how important newspapers are to society collectively and this community specifically.
Thanks for reading this newspaper.
Thanks for patronizing advertisers choosing this newspaper to run their ads.
Thanks for caring that an important part of our democracy ‘ that part guaranteed by The First Amendment ‘ remains a part of the future.
Yes, Newspapers Still Deliver ‘ for YOU.
The Hoosier State Press Association is a trade association representing 175 Indiana newspapers of general, paid circulation. The only organization totally devoted to the protection and advancement of the newspaper industry in the state, it is nonpolitical and nonsectarian. The Hoosier State Press Association was founded in 1933.