An editorial from The Register-Herald
BECKLEY, W.Va. — Newspapers have a partner whose importance can never be taken for granted. That’s the communities we serve. The 76th anniversary of National Newspaper Week, Oct. 2-8, is the perfect time to recognize this valuable partnership.
This year’s theme is “Way to Know!” The aim — according to Newspaper Association Managers Inc., the consortium of North American trade associations representing the industry on a state and provincial, regional and national basis — is to applaud and underscore newspaper media’s role as the leading provider of news in print, online or in palms via mobile devices.
As David Chavern, president and CEO of News Media Alliance, points out, “The word newspaper no longer reflects the media industry encompassed by the word.”
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“People want and need the underlying products and services and the industries adapt to be successful in the new world,” Chavern said.
“All evidence shows that people of all ages want and consume more news than ever,” he added. “We need to focus on new ways to address the needs of audience. Legacy newspapers are considered trusted sources of information; we must continue to keep that trust as we experiment in the digital age. Live streaming, social media and video are just tools for better stories as journalists fight to keep readers in the know.
“This week, we celebrate the 76th National Newspaper Week, where we celebrate newspapers as the ‘Way to Know.’ It is a time to be grateful for the news carriers that trudge through the streets hours before you’ve had your first cup of coffee to deliver you the news. We take this week to realize that what we know comes from hardworking editors and journalists, who decide what information to put in front of us each day. We celebrate that we can count on them to go into a tragedy and bring us back hope. They make politics human and science easy to read.
“I don’t want to imagine a world without newspapers, do you?”
Our focus at The Register-Herald is local — from municipal government to schools and universities to police and the courts to businesses and organizations to extraordinary individuals.
In our opinion section, we pledge to offer a wide range of viewpoints as well as an opportunity for readers to express their opinions.
It’s also a partner with businesses to effectively and economically communicate with their audience.
The job involves explaining what actions in a community mean and serving as a watchdog when wrong is done.
“Without newspapers, you might say, a substitute watchdog would come along to serve in the role. Eventually perhaps, but how much damage is done in the interim?” said Layne Bruce, executive director of the Mississippi Press Association and president of Newspaper Association Managers Inc. “And why put out to pasture a medium that’s held this responsibility close to its heart for centuries?”
“The power of the press was, is now and will be in the future, bringing consumers the news they need — and having the fortitude to seek and report the news they don’t even yet know they need, but will,” said Gene Policinski, chief operating officer of the Newseum Institute and of the institute’s First Amendment Center.
“Ignorance and apathy is the challenge. Credibility and necessity are the means to overcome those challenges.”
We look forward, with our community’s backing and assistance, to meeting the tests that lie ahead.