I believe every town in America should have a newspaper. Working in the advertising industry and with a long history in working for some major newspapers in the Midwest, it is heartbreaking and sad for me to believe in the shrinkage and slow death I see papers suffering all across America. It’s like watching a sick person slowly disappear.
In Chicago in the height of the depression, my father sold newspapers on the street corner for five cents. Growing up in a family of six children in Minnesota, the newspaper was my first introduction to reading and gave me plenty of time with my siblings fighting over the funnies. We used it to find our endless line of used cars, it lined our bird cages, but mostly started each day for us around the breakfast table talking about what was happening in the world.
Growing up in a small town, we would rely on the Chaska Herald to tell us everything from the local high school sports to who got pulled over for drunk driving in the police blotter. Living back in Chicago now, I can pull it up online, but it’s not the same.
I live in a city where we are fortunate enough to be a two newspaper town, but these days, it borders on no longer being a reality. I like having a choice in what paper I read. I like having a friendly banter with relatives about which paper is better, the Tribune or the Sun Times. Mostly, I like being able to open the paper and show my daughter and step-son photo’s that our friends took, articles that my daughter’s father wrote, and talking to my husband about the antics down at City Hall.
Newspapers, no matter how big or how small are the fabric of our communities with different agendas. Some are grassroots mom and pop job’s printed out of someone’s garage; and others are giant media conglomerates whose words have a tremendous affect on politics, local issues, and how we do things.
If we take away the newspaper whether it be because of the cost; or because no one cares to take the time to read it when they can get it online, I think we are going to be sorry. Newspapers are something that we all have in common and can share….with our coworkers, our families, our friends and our kids. This, I believe.
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