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Vital Role

Newspapers a Pillar of our Communities

This week marks National Newspaper Week, a chance to step back and highlight the important role newspapers play in serving as a community forum for news, sports and human-interest stories that chronicle everyday life in our region.

We Americans enjoy a vigorous, vibrant press, like no other in the world. For more than two centuries, it has served us as guardians of our liberty and prosperity.

Newspapers indeed are critical to a free society and also to helping grow strong community bonds. Our nation’s founders recognized that in adopting the First Amendment to the Constitution. Since they did so, courts all the way up to the highest in the land have reinforced press freedom.

Just how do we safeguard Americans’ rights and promote their well-being? We tell you every day what government is doing — and newspapers do it better than any other medium. In depth — not in shallow sound-bites — we tell you whether your school board is doing a good job, how your town or city council is spending your money, what new taxes state legislators are considering and why Congress and presidents take certain actions.

But more than that, newspapers provide a community forum, a place for local residents to go to find trusted information not only on how their tax dollars are being spent, but also on what events are taking place over the weekend, or how the local high school sports team is performing.

Our editorial pages consider local and regional issues from the standpoint of what is good for our readers. When government seems insensitive to those interests, we point it out. When a problem arises in our communities, we search for and offer solutions instead of simply noting why government is doing this or that wrong. We provide a platform for informed opinions from readers wanting to discuss important local topics.

We also celebrate the successes of local residents, frequently offering “pats on the back” to those in our community who are doing wonderful things.

But newspapers are so much more than sources of information and leadership on how government operates. We serve as the fabric of our communities.

We tell you when children are born and when old friends pass away.

We tell you about campaigns to help local children suffering from serious illnesses, we inform you about church socials, and we cover initiatives to clean up neighborhoods.

We let you know about crime in your neighborhoods and about tragedies such as fires and floods. We offer opportunities for you to help your neighbors recovering from tragedy.

We report exhaustively on local high school sports, as well as concerts, school events and other activities involving your children.

We profile new businesses when they come to the community, and also provide local businesses with a valuable way to reach thousands of readers each day.

No one else tells you what’s going on in our communities like we do. Long before there was an internet, newspapers were sources of all sorts of important information. Now, our website and digital components complement our daily print editions.

National Newspaper Week is a reminder of how important we as an institution are to our communities. These are our communities, too, and we take pleasure in newspapering as a way to safeguard and make them better.

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