Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Maintaining a long tradition of providing local news

As I look back on my childhood days, there was one ritual in our household that created some anxious moments in the middle of the week. It was the arrival of the local newspapers. 

There was always a mad dash scramble to see who could grab the local newspapers first. We usually received at least three local newspapers on two different days, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

No sooner had the postal carrier closed the mailbox and headed down the road did we run out the door with great anticipation about what was going to be in that week’s newspaper.

Sadly, two of those newspapers that I read as a youngster are no longer in existence and ceased printing years ago. A more county-wide newspaper has since replaced the individual community papers.

Of course, those were the days long before social media and the Internet came along with news apps and websites to provide more instantaneous news.

But, despite the changing culture of the media, I believe there is still a lure for the local newspaper that no one will ever replace.

The ritual also took place to a lesser extent on the weekends with the arrival of the Sunday Minneapolis Star Tribune. It seems everyone in our family had a favorite section, and within seconds the paper was pulled apart.

Nothing can take the place of the local newspaper, which is packed with local news, sports and features of your next-door neighbors, friends, relatives and yes, even sometimes enemies. There is nobody else that cares about the community in the close-up and intimate way that the local newspaper does.

This week our newspaper is joining with more than 200 other papers across the state in a “Whiteout” campaign in which the front page is almost entirely left white. There is not one bit of news on the front page.

The whiteout reminds readers of the important role that newspapers play within the community.

Local journalists are writing the first draft of the history of the community and telling stories of their communities. In most towns, the newspaper is the main source of local news.

During this special week, we encourage readers to think for just a moment about what would life be like without the local newspaper.

What would happen if the front page of the newspaper contained no news? What would the community do? Would they miss it? What would people in town talk about? How would they react?

They are all valid questions that should make everyone stop and think about supporting the local newspaper instead of ripping it apart. I think most readers would agree, life would not be the same without the local newspaper.

Newspapers have been the primary way that communities have delivered accurate and reliable information since the founding of our republic. The local newspapers may not always get the glory that the larger media outlets do, but the local media is often known as the trusted source for getting the story right.

Community newspapers have a long tradition of providing you with the news and information that helps you make critical decisions and stay informed.

Close your eyes for a second and imagine if there was no newspaper. I think you’d agree that we all would come out on the losing end. Whether you realize it or not, the newspaper is a relevant part of your life.

The newspaper has been around for generations and we plan to continue going in hot pursuit of delivering local news for years to come. 

 

See full story in this week’s print edition or subscribe online. Please subscribe here or current subscribers can login here.

Steele County Times & DCI

Steele County Times
507-583-4431
411 E. Main St.
P.O. Box 247
Blooming Prairie, MN 55917

Dodge County Independent
507-634-7503
121 West Main St.
Kasson, MN 55944

Dodge County Printing
507-634-2661
121 West Main St.
Kasson, MN 55944

 

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