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A matter of two-way communication
National Newspaper Week a time to celebrate the power of print
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This week marks the 81st anniversary of National Newspaper Week, an annual observance that underscores the impact of newspapers to communities large and small. The theme of this year’s NNW is “Community Forum.”

To many in this digital age the term “press” may sound archaic, a relic of a different time. Yet, people still refer to the media as the press and statements sent by officialdom are still called press releases.

Many news consumers today may not look at an ink-on-paper product as their medium of choice. And, who knows what the future holds. But, one indelible fact remains – be it in newsprint or electrons, newspapers are the best source for the news and information craved and needed by society. This transcends demographics and generations.

Readers, regardless of their age, need the facts and they need accuracy. Some entities play at being news organizations, but newspapers are the real deal.

Papers have the staff, experience, tools, resources and, more importantly, the mission to inform and enlighten the public. That is what we do, be it in print, online or on a smartphone.

Our mission is to do the hard work and the reporting to deepen the news literacy of our community, and confront misinformation. In so doing, we foster a more knowledgeable readership, and along the way hop to attract more readers seeking trusted journalism.

We enlighten democracy by demonstrating the importance of the local news media as a moderator of civil, civic discourse.

Hence the theme.

We have widely open door when it comes to letters to the editor. We welcome and encourage submissions.

We provide that forum for our readers to express their views and vent their frustrations. We are really the only channel to provide this opportunity.

NNW is sponsored and coordinated by Newspaper Association Managers Inc., a consortium of North American trade associations representing the industry on a state and provincial, regional and national basis. Although this is a national celebration, it really boils down to the local level – government actions, chili feeds and wedding announcements.

One behalf of the newspapers of America, we owe our readers a huge thank you for their continued loyalty. As society and technology have changed, the print media has grown and adapted to the new landscape.

This has been a struggle for some, but newspapers are not alone in rising to meet the challenges presented by the exponential development of the digital world. There is not an industry that has been immune to this.

What the future holds is unknown. It is certain that when Johannes Gutenberg invented movable type in the 1400s he had no idea what was yet to come.

But, just as sure as his contributions to the world remain relevant today, so do newspapers. In whatever form they may take, they are here to stay.

We will always be there to listen and give you the chance to be heard.

Dale Hogg