As you read this, we are celebrating National Newspaper Week. There is a front-page article by Al Cross that I feel makes some very valid points. Like Al, I enjoy social media. I find it entertaining but I certainly don’t take everything I read as factual. There-in lies the problem.
Anyone can put anything on social media with little regard for facts or truth. Unlike newspapers, the author is seldom held responsible. I’m sure that is because the offending piece can disappear or change at a moment’s notice.
Newspapers on the other hand are exactly the opposite. We are a permanent record and often the only historical document that survives in times of tragedy.
As I have stated before in this space, there is a concerted effort in our legislature to severely injury and/or eliminate publications such as this one.
What would our society be like if these detractors succeed? Would the public have any idea as to what their elected officials are doing? I seriously doubt it. And… certainly not as comprehensively as we do now.
Could governmental corruption make a come-back? Yes, it could and if the avenue presents itself, it will… its just a matter of time. I agree that corruption still rears its ugly head from time to time. However, it is not nearly as prevalent as it was when I first began observing the process as a teenager.
Will there be archives to look up facts and recall history? Absolutely not.
Now, I’m the first to say that our industry is not perfect. Everyone doesn’t take their responsibility to their readers as I and the majority do. Warts and all… newspapers serve an important and vital service in preserving a free and independent society.
Whether you find fault with the way news in covered or not isn’t the deciding factor here. Newspapers are the watchdog of our society, and we need them to perform that function fairly and independently. Newspapers are our community forum. We have witnessed in recent years how our elected officials treat those who have a different opinion or disagree with them. Where would you voice your opinion if newspapers didn’t exist? If a free press disappears, what will be next? We celebrate National Newspaper Week with a since of satisfaction. We have spent nearly 50 years behind this desk working for the betterment of our community and readers. We can only hope that there will be someone to take our place for the next 50 years.