Editorial: America needs newspapers

Published 8:14 pm Friday, October 9, 2020

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In a year with a global pandemic, civil unrest and probably the largest election in decades — on top of the regular day-to-day ups and downs that come in a community — it has perhaps never been more important to turn to a source of information that is accurate and looks out for you, the reader.

While the newspaper industry as a whole has transformed over the last year as businesses have felt the effects of prolonged closures and altered rules for operation amid COVID-19, our organization’s goals remain the same: to present information that matters as we seek to inform, involve and inspire our readers.

This week as we celebrate National Newspaper Week, we ask that you remember the important role newspapers play across the nation and in our own community.

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According to a report by the University of North Carolina Hussman School of Journalism earlier this fall, the United States has lost one-fourth — 2,100 — of its newspapers over the last 15 years, leaving at least 1,800 communities that had a local news outlet in 2004 but did not have one at the beginning of 2020.

Research shows that in communities without newspapers, residents are less informed and less likely to vote.

Not only do newspapers provide valuable information about candidates, but they also include important information for day-to-day living — information like alerts about crime, weather and safety, coverage of decisions made by local governments and coverage of our high school athletes.

Newspapers are also historical records about everything from local governments to personal milestones such as births, marriages and deaths.

To our loyal subscribers, we thank you for supporting local journalism. For those of you who are not subscribers but who may be reading this, thank you, too. We are glad to serve you and hope you recognize the value of our work in the community.