The EDITOR’S Corner
Ask 10 people to name their town councilman or school board president and you’ll often be met with blank stares.
Engage some people in a conversation about local issues, and some will even go so far as to tell you that they don’t read the local newspaper, as if ignorance is bliss.
Despite the extensive coverage of local issues and events that can be found right here in the pages of the Spencer Evening World, many among us are still living in the dark, content to gather their news from the small snippets posted online via social media.
It seems the poor citizenry doesn’t just stop with a lack of knowledge about local government – even key community projects happening right under our noses often go unobserved by some.
Case in point: while browsing the latest status updates shared by Facebook friends, I stumbled across a photo taken of the interior of the Tivoli Theatre during Sunday’s Historic Home Tour, hosted by Owen County Preservations.
Some, it seemed, were surprised to learn of the theatre’s ongoing restoration – a massive undertaking being spearheaded and financed by Cook Group, Inc., which also happens to be one of our community’s largest employers.
Our readers were the first to learn of the restoration, thanks to a front page report published on April 3rd of this year. Facebook followers and those who subscribe to the Spencer Evening World online saw the story break a day earlier at www.spencereveningworld.com.
Since that time, the SEW has published countless updates on the project, each accompanied by photos depicting the latest progress being made.
As someone wiser than me once said: we can report on the news, but we can’t make people read it.
True, but sad nonetheless.
With all that being said, and in honor of National Newspaper Week (October 7-13), I want to take this opportunity to remind you, our valued readers, of the annual return you receive from your $52 investment in the SEW.
The Spencer Evening World is assembled just for you, tailored to where you live, emphasizing the things that affect you, keeping track of the people and players in your community. Your newspaper is put together by people in a newsroom that was built for you, where people work to supply information that matters to you, from the details of that crash you passed by on Tuesday to biographies of the candidates up for local election to notices of what’s on sale at your local grocery.
We promise to be there for you. In your mail and at your convenience store, but also at your municipal building, inside your local police department, attending your city council meeting, watching your elections. We’ll be where you can’t, paying attention, keeping watch, asking questions, making the record public.
And you can take us wherever you’re going, whether in print or online.
Some say newspapers are dying, that people get their news today from the Internet, TV and radio. But where do the Internet, TV and radio get their news? From the newsrooms of America’s newspapers, both large and small, which still encompass the nation’s largest newsgathering force.
A few generations back, TV and radio were supposed to be the death of newspapers. Instead, they were catalysts for newspapers to dig further, to offer context, analysis, perspective and storytelling that the electronic media couldn’t deliver. TV and radio didn’t kill newspapers; they made them deeper, smarter and more thoughtful.
For about a generation now, the Internet has supposedly been driving newspapers into extinction.
Nope. Unlike websites and bloggers, newspapers like the SEW are fixtures in their communities. Most of them were around long before personal computers and smart-phone apps – the SEW has been chronicling life and exposing things that would have otherwise gone unnoticed since 1927.
Unlike social media, newsrooms like the one found here at the SEW operate with standards and ethics intended to assure the credibility of the information they deliver. They don’t just make the record; they protect it, too. It’s a responsibility, a trust, a duty.
Our mission remains the same: To be there. For you. Because it’s your newspaper, covering news that’s important to you and the quality of life in your community.
Whether we join a government board or bake cookies for the PTA bake sale or coach a Little League team, we all have a role to play in our communities. What we do matters, and what everyone else does matters to us.
Stay informed and get involved by reading your hometown newspaper.
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