Community newspapers still have purpose.
We know our value in small communities and we’re evolving with the times.
Typically, you’re not going to see daily newspaper reporters at our school board, county board or city council meetings unless something major is happening. However, you will see your community newspaper reporter/editor/manager/publisher taking notes to share with those who can’t be there. You’ll see us giving up family time to cover meetings so others don’t have to.
Or what about those sporting/school events? Who doesn’t like to see their child or grandchild’s photo in the newspaper? Or see their neighbor’s child rewarded for good grades?
These are not things you’ll see in your daily newspaper. But you may very well see them in your community newspaper or newspaper website or Facebook page.
Community newspapers, along with their online presence, aren’t always appreciated until they’re gone. Just ask your friends over in Farmer City how much they miss their local newspaper. Attempts were made to establish a substitute after their local newspaper folded, but the new publication never seemed to get the financial support to get off the ground.
Remember how news traveled via word of mouth and how stories got twisted via the old “human telephone” example? A story would be told and then whispered from person to person and by the time it got to the end, it was an entirely different story.
Social media, while it has a purpose, is a bit like the human telephone example. People simply repeat what they hear and share it with others…and that’s how stories get twisted. Information should be confirmed from legitimate news sources. Newspapers and other legitimate news sources are not going to print or post anything without confirmation.
Imagine our community without a newspaper. It’s not a pretty picture and I don’t think it’s one we should consider painting anytime soon.