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Do we need newspapers?

Lead Summary

Part of my enjoyment with
the Minnesota State Fair is to go work at the fair doing, what else, newspaper work.
Besides doing stories and taking photos of local people at the fair, I also volunteer at the Minnesota Newspaper Museum, which is operated by the Minneso- ta Newspaper Foundation of which I serve on the board.
I know that probably doesn’t sound real appeal- ing to many people, but it’s actually fun for me. I love to connect with people asking various questions about the newspaper industry. I have a real sense that there is still
a strong tie to newspapers for most people, despite the struggles we’ve all heard about over recent years.
As part of the museum,
the foundation prints a dai- ly edition of the Maynard News for fairgoers to take. It is a four-page newspaper containing news about the museum’s effort to educate
Minnesotans about newspa- pers and journalism.
In the newspaper, Linda Falkman, president of MNF, wrote a column, “Do we need newspapers?” What really caught my eye about this article was a quote that she used: “To say you don’t need newspapers because you’ve got the internet–is like saying you don’t need farmers because you’ve got
a grocery store.”
I’d like you to just think about that for a second. How true about newspapers. It’s such a powerful statement that exemplifies what we work our tails off every week to provide readers. I don’t think many people realize or understand how newspapers are so relevant in our society.
While we are far from perfect, your local news- paper is a reliable source
to provide you information that is researched, written and edited. You are not going to find the same kind
of news from the internet, at least when it comes to local happenings going on in your community.
Social media has its place, but it is not generally a source of credible news.
Social media is far from pro-
viding factual and reliable information. What news- papers provide are trained journalists to search out accurate information that you can trust and rely on.
I implore you to take note of the value of your commu- nity newspaper and not let
it disappear. Support it and embrace it through buying subscriptions and urging businesses to advertise.
Let businesses know when they do advertise that their ads are being read. Help us help keep our communities informed and progressing.
I appreciated Neal Jor-
gensen’s letter, which was published in last week’s edition, in which he said: “I will intentionally shop at ad- vertisers of this publication as the quality is best and the written communication is vital to our community.”
The folks behind your local newspaper are some of the most diligent and dedi- cated and credible people in Minnesota. Sadly, they are often paid very little for the work they do because of the economics of the industry.
Community newspapers
are vital to uncovering the successes, failures, triumphs, misgivings and shortcom-
ings of the people within the community. We are here to celebrate right along with the community, but we also serve an important role to expose the truth whether it’s good or maybe not so good.
It’s time we all go in hot pursuit of supporting com- munity newspapers to keep the printed word thriving for years to come.


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