Everything starts with newspapers

Everything starts with newspapers By Frank McTighe It all starts with newspapers.

It has been written that a newspaper at its best is a community talking to itself.

The newspaper's coverage of meetings and events, investigative journalism that uncovers important issues, and strong opinion pieces that offer points of view and courses of action, are most often the starting point of discussion within a community.

The theme of National Newspaper Week (Oct. 4 — Oct. 10) is "It all starts with newspapers," a statement that gets right to the heart of our business.

As recorders of activities large and small within the community, as the community's watchdog and often spokesperson, a newspaper plays a crucial role in day-to-day life in every city, town and village in the country.�

Beginning with a birth announcement, newspapers start their coverage of people's lives at the earliest event.

That coverage continues throughout a person's life, recording accomplishments, failures, milestones and finally, death.

As a keeper of the stories of a community, the newspaper is there at the start, and the finish, and remains the only effective instrument for such record-keeping.

Most projects in the community are truly launched when objectives and fund-raising goals are splashed across the pages of the local newspaper, educating residents about the need that has been identified, and telling them how they can get involved.

Coverage in the newspaper of such aspects as fund-raising initiatives, door-to-door campaigns and construction schedules help the readers stay in touch with the projects from start to finish.�

As they begin their search for an important household item, consumers usually turn to the pages of the newspaper to study advertisements and promotions placed by local merchants.

When planning trips, readers turn to the newspaper for information about possible destinations, accommodations and other travel information.

When looking for a new home or attempting to sell their present house, people find the pages of the newspaper the best place to start.

The classified section of any newspaper is the first source for people looking for employment.

As always, it all begins with newspapers.

For many people, their first job is as a newspaper carrier.

Their first field trip in school is often a visit to the local newspaper, and for information for a school project on current events, their first stop is the newspaper.

It all begins with newspapers.�

Many people develop a life-long love of reading by picking up a newspaper each day to find out about the important news, follow the progress of their favorite teams, check out the views of a top columnist, or to read their favorite comics.

That habit of reading the newspaper is an important step in building literacy skills, as well as keeping a person well-informed on the issues of the day.

A good newspaper offers something for everyone, whether it is coverage of an election race, reports from council and school board meetings, display or classified advertising, or strong opinion writing that educates and excites the reader. When it comes to creating an informed, educated, productive and opinionated community, it all starts with newspapers.

Frank McTighe

President

Alberta Weekly

Newspapers Association

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