Our Opinion: Newspapers cover the issues close to (your) home

October 3rd, 2016 7:28 pm

Thank goodness for the newspaper.

Frequently the “big news” of most concern to you isn’t the sort of happening that causes broadcast reporters from CNN or other national outlets to rush to your neighborhood.

Consider, for instance, the closure of a single middle school due to concerns about mold.

If you are a producer for ABC’s “World News Tonight,” that’s a snoozer of a story with limited viewer interest. And no sexy footage. It won’t make the air. If, however, you are a student at Wyoming Valley West Middle School in Kingston – or the parent of a student there, or a school district employee, or someone who lives near the building – suddenly the circumstances behind last week’s shutdown take on major significance.

Enter the local newspaper.

The Times Leader has reported – and will continue to report – about the school situation: its impact on students’ schedules, district spending, and other avenues yet to be explored.

That’s only one example of what we in the “old-fashioned, daily newspaper business” do. In print and online, we continually strive to provide the news, information and, yes, entertainment that help to keep you aware of what’s happening in the global community and especially in your corner of it.

This week, touted as National Newspaper Week, those of us in the journalism industry indulge in some horn-tooting to help emphasize the work we do and why it matters to you, to our communities, and even to democracy. We also try to dispel common misconceptions about the business such as that “old-fashioned” tripe; what we produce is no longer a “daily,” it’s an all-day stream of news available to you on laptops, cellphones and other devices.

Perhaps you regularly turn to us to read the obituaries or the funnies, to scan the restaurant inspections or the sports headlines, to get the store coupons or the theater listings. Evidently, you read the opinions, too.

Thank you for being a reader. Despite what you might have heard, you are not the last of a vanishing, newspaper-fond breed; a survey this year by Nielsen Scarborough suggested that 83 percent of Pennsylvania adults had read a print or digital newspaper in the prior week.

Newspapers have much to offer. In certain ways, on many days, you might even consider them indispensable.

During the next 12 months, we hope you will find yourself on more than one occasion thinking the phrase we have committed here to black and white: Thank goodness for the newspaper.

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