Support weeklies, it’s National Newspaper Week

This column tries to answer the question of are newspapers dead

Is journalism dead?

That’s a question that has been asked since long before I was in journalism school over a decade ago.

This year’s National Newspaper Week from Oct. 6 to 12 is reasserting that newspapers matter now more than ever.

According to the seventh annual Newspapers 24/7 Report, 88 per cent of Canadians read a newspaper either in print or online at least once a week — which is actually an increase from 2012.

Whether it’s on a smartphone, desktop computer or a print edition, baby boomers, millennials and families continue to read local news on various platforms.

I became a journalist because I believe in telling stories of the residents who live in my community, creating an accurate record and providing communities with access to information.

Newspapers matter more than ever, but more than that, small community newspapers are even more vital.

Local newspapers cover local issues, small and large, that matter to readers, that are less likely to get picked up by larger media outlets.

And, although in my previous column I spoke about how fake news is not necessarily as prevalent as believed, a small, community newspaper is far more accountable to its readers than media with a wider audience.

We listen to our readers and support what matters to them. If we didn’t we wouldn’t survive.

“Given heightened levels of global mistrust, we’re seeing a clear and continued affinity for the reliable reporting that newspapers provide,” said News Media Canada chair Bob Cox in a Black Press news article in May, 2019.

“Newspapers continue to be the go-to source for credible, trusted and independent news, in both print and digital formats.”

This week, consider showing your support for your local paper by posting a photo on your social media of yourself reading a current issue of the paper, either in print or online, with a caption about why newspapers matter to you.

And as always, advertising is the lifeblood of any newspaper. Advertising in newspapers remains a solid, efficient way to reach an audience and keeps the lights on in your local newspaper office.

If we don’t support our community papers, they will disappear, which would be a shame and a disservice to the public who relies on them for trustworthy, local content.

In conjunction with National Newspaper Week, Saturday, Oct. 12 is Carrier Appreciation Day. The Bashaw Star would like to thank all our dedicated distributors who deliver our papers each and every week, in all kinds of weather.

Your role is critical is providing residents with access to news they can trust. We appreciate you.

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