Editorial: Newspapers are valuable source in the community

Published 10:00 pm Sunday, October 1, 2017

This week is an important one in journalism — National Newspaper Week. We aim to remind the community of the important role newspapers play in keeping residents informed.

Whether it’s through the print copy, your computer or your mobile device, people will always want to know what’s happening in their communities. Newspapers such as the Tribune strive to provide local content you can’t find in larger papers in the state or on national media outlets.

Started in the afternoon of Oct. 15, 1897, the Tribune — then known as The Albert Lea Evening Tribune — printed its first edition in a converted office building at the corner of Broadway and College Street.

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Though the location and owners have changed through the years, the purpose is the same: We strive to serve the community through information and to provide a historical record for years to come.

The Tribune is one of more than 300 newspapers in the state.

The newspaper provides not only articles about community events and issues, but also vital records such as obituaries and birth announcements, along with wedding and engagement announcements. The newspaper serves as a community watchdog and provides public notices.

With the advent of technology, newspapers have had to change the way they operate. Twenty years  ago, people read the print newspaper. Now they can find the Tribune on our website, AlbertLeaTribune.com, Facebook, Twitter and in their email inbox.

This technology has made us a stronger community-minded newspaper. Before digital cameras and email, if we couldn’t get to an event there just wouldn’t be any coverage. Now we welcome citizens to submit photos, write-ups, sports scores or stats and much more. Readers can help us put together a better product that includes more local content.

Through these connections to the community, newspapers such as the Albert Lea Tribune are thriving. Albert Lea residents count on the Tribune to check local police reports, attend city council and school board meetings, introduce new businesses, print election results and so much more. We have opinion columns from local residents and welcome letters to the editor. Within our pages, you will see retail and classified ads informing you about local garage sales, inserted fliers and what store is having the latest sale, promotion or event. Newspapers are still the best vehicle for connecting to customers.

And thanks to technology, the information remains online and is accessible year-round.

We thank you, our readers, who are also our neighbors. Thank you for reading our newspaper in print and online, following us on Twitter and Facebook and for making this great partnership continue to grow and to thrive. We hope you continue to rely on us as your leading provider of news — in whatever form you choose.