Opinion, The Braxton Democrat

Important week…

This is an important week for our industry. You will note on this week’s front page that we are in the middle of National Newspaper Week. Of course, we have celebrated this occasion in the past. But perhaps it is more important today. With all the “fake news” we find on social media and elsewhere it is even more important that we recognize the importance of real news like what you find in the pages of our newspapers.

Granted much of it is not earth shaking. We do cover the hard news, but we also cover county commission meeting, school board and town council gathering and much more… all of which can be very important to our way of life here in central West Virginia.

The inaccurate, often misleading news that props up on the internet is literally here today and gone tomorrow. Our newspaper accounts are a permanent record. Back issues will be around for decades. I am held personally accountable for their accuracy… morally and to a large degree legally. Of course, we make mistakes. After all we are human. However, we make every attempt to identify those errors and correct them as soon as possible. That’s the primary difference between our news and that of social media.

 A few years ago, the Morgan County Courthouse burnt to the ground. An amazing amount of the history of that community was lost forever. The only saving grace was the more than 100-year-old Morgan Messenger and their file copies or “morgue” as it’s referred to in our profession. Newspapers are the permanent record of their community. Not only do they report news important to their readers, but they also preserve history… that aspect of our service is often overlooked but can be invaluable as was the case in the eastern panhandle.

What would it be like if newspapers didn’t exist, and we only had the internet? To me that’s a whole lot of scary.

October is a busy month. This week is also National 4-H week. There is a front-page article on that as well. This decades old program shapes the lives of so many young adults. While I really wasn’t previously aware of both occurring the first week of October, it seems fitting that Newspapers and 4-H share a week of national recognition.

October is also Car Care Month. We have a special feature on Page 8 of this issue that reminds drivers that our cars and trucks need some special attention this time of year. I particularly thank our advertisers for helping bring this special message to you.

Another very important event occurring during October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Cancer has probably touched the lives of every one of us. Any attention we can bring to the dreaded disease is always productive.

With all this activity in October, coupled with the beauty of fall, it is probably fitting that it concludes with the massive fun of Halloween.