As of Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Readers rely on newspapers more than they think.
Despite the evolution of iPads, smartphones and apps to disseminate the news in one form or another, community newspapers still hold an integral position in gathering and reporting the news.
The community newspaper in its present and electronic formats provides local news and sports, as well as comics and legal news … and the list goes on.
This week is the 75th anniversary of National Newspaper Week, an observance that focuses on the importance of the local daily or weekly newspaper.
According to industry standards, more than 1,300 daily newspapers still bring millions of readers in the United States the news, while more than 7,000 non-daily newspapers serve communities in every state and territory.
Newspapers in the United States have grown up with generations of readers, while scores of articles may have become part of every family’s scrapbook. Newspapers report on a wide range of events from tragedies to joyous occasions. When readers want to reminisce about past events, though, where do they turn?
The local newspaper, of course. People have always relied on newspapers.
The same can be said for residents who live from Maine to Minnesota to Washington state, and from Wisconsin to Kansas to Texas and beyond. Those who call little towns and small cities as home all consider their newspapers as a source of pride and information, and a newspaper is a reliable method for former residents to keep in touch with their friends and the previous town they called “home.”
Newspapers still have an impact on the communities of which they have served for generations. During a typical calendar year, newspapers donate thousands of dollars in public service advertising, print numerous stories on community events, cover social and news events, publish hundreds of local photos and report on the big athletic games of the year.
When electronic records “expire” or are no longer available, readers will still find the information in archived issues of the newspaper.
Do you want to know how your local government or school board decides on an important topic affecting the community?
Turn to your newspaper.
Where do you read columnists who give you a snapshot of local or national snippets of life?
Your local opinion pages.
Who provides the details of the big homecoming game?
Your newspaper’s local sports section.
Where can you find the latest information on an upcoming theatrical production?
Your local newspaper’s arts and entertainment section.
As you can see, thousands - if not millions - of people rely on newspapers more than they think … even more so than direct mail or out-of-area publications.
Yes, your local newspapers are part of that community pride.
‑ Steve Ranson is president of the board of directors of the Nevada Press Association, a member of the board of directors of the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors and editor of the Lahontan Valley News in Fallon, Nev.