Don’t throw dirt over our face just yet

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My Views by Thomas J. Barr, Publisher

 The rumors of the demise of newspapers may be greatly exaggerated.

You’ve read similar statements in this place in the newspaper on several occasions.

But as we celebrate National Newspaper Week, it might be time to revisit our perspective on the future of newspapers...more importantly, community newspapers.

We believe there will be newspapers in this country for many years to come.

There is something about a newspaper that a certain number of people can’t live without.

One of the problems with newspapers is that the reason people like the printed word varies. Some people will look only at the sports section. Others will only purchase a paper for the advertisements.

Everyone has a reason to be attracted to a paper.

Our challenge is trying to meet as many of those needs and desires as possible. It is a daunting task.

In this age of instant information, many are not willing to wait until the paper arrives. They will seek out information through the internet.

This change in culture affects us all. No longer do you have those noisy rides in the car with the family.

Now, it is a quiet one as everyone has their own personal device in which they are surfing the internet, texting out a message or playing a game.

Once we get home, there are cable systems with hundreds of channels filled with some good stuff and then there is all the other useless stuff.

We pay good money for useless stuff. And would be very upset if it was not available.

So, if people can go out into the world of internet and get all their information, why would one feel the future of newspapers would remain bright?

Because of the cartoon to the right.

Those building blocks of any community newspaper can’t be found on-line.

Yes, if you are a subscriber, you could read a digital version of our entire newspaper.

For those living out of the county or out of state, our on-line version is available quicker than you can receive it in the mail.

In fact, if you are really eager, our on-line version is available around 1-2 a.m. each Monday and Wednesday morning.

But it is all those things that you see in the cartoon that are not available in a community setting. Much of those items are not even available in the bigger cities.

We produce things that parents and grandparents still cut out and stick on a refrigerator.

We produce something that is portable, even able to be taken into the restroom by so many folks.

We produce news and features about local events and local people that you don’t see in other mediums.

We produce an avenue in which people can get the local bargains from local vendors. 

We produce a product that provides space for pictures of your favorite events. Or of your favorite birthdays or weddings or anniversaries.

We produce a publication that has all the legal news in your community. Those who have been caught by surprise in a rezoning case or an annexation or a tax increase will often painfully learn how valuable those public notices are in your community newspaper.

We produce local stuff about local people. We cover local issues that affect you and your family every day.

If you are reading this, I am preaching to the choir.

I need you to go out and spread our good word. We need more followers to secure a stable future.

There will be changes but newspapers will not be vanishing any time soon.

The Pioneer News joins thousands of other publications in celebrating National Newspaper Week.

If you happen to see one of our employees and like what we’re doing, give a little thumbs up this week.

If unhappy, let us know how we can improve.