Community papers still going strong

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By Leslie Moore

In recent years, there has been a lot of speculation about the future of journalism, specifically, the printed newspaper.

News media sites such as the New York Times and Yahoo! have brought journalism to a new level. Their content is constantly updated and is invaluable for staying informed on the current events and issues affecting our country. This instant access to news has led many to believe that the demise of local community newspapers, like the News-Journal, is inevitable.

As a recent graduate of Lindsey Wilson College’s journalism program, and also as a new reporter at the News-Journal, the future of print journalism is obviously very important to me.

While the Internet has dramatically changed the way we receive our news, this does not mean that newspapers are becoming obsolete. Instead, the public’s increased awareness of news on the national level has led to a greater understanding of the importance of being informed of the events and issues affecting our own communities.

Coverage of local government meetings, court cases, progress of schools and other localized issues will not be found on national-based news media websites because their purpose is to deliver news on the national level. To cover all of the news that pertains only to each community would be impossible, and would also go against their objective, which is to attract as many readers per news item as possible. Local news, as vital to a community as it is, is primarily of interest to residents of a community.

Therefore, if one wants to read community news, they will have to look within their community to get it. This is where newspapers like the News-Journal come in. Within our pages, you will find birth announcements, obituaries, coverage of local government, updates on court cases, upcoming events, and stories about you. If newspapers ceased to exist, so would all of these.

Another faulty assumption often made about newspapers is that only “older” adults read them. However, if the number of my 20-something peers who pointed out to me that there is no such thing as a tobacco hatchet after reading my recent article about tobacco is any indication, I will conclude that newspapers are being read by eyes of all ages.

From students in classrooms all the way up to grandparents who scan the education page looking for scrapbook-worthy photos of their grandchildren, newspapers offer something for everyone.

So until the public stops caring about the actions of local law enforcement, school administrators and elected representatives, newspapers are here to stay.