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Mike’s Musings: Here’s why your local newspaper is important

I have a confession to make. I’m a local newspaper addict. I write them, I sell them, and most importantly I read every single one I can get my hands on.
Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately depending on your viewpoint, I also buy them. Amazingly I’ve had a great deal of success in doing so.
This week I added the Three Rivers MI Commercial and the St. Joseph’s County Pennysaver to our stable. That makes ten newspapers now for the newspaper group called Wilcox Newspapers.
For me, and actually many people I talk to, a local newspaper is essential to the health of a small community. I have thought about this often, but it really came to light earlier this week when a radio station asked me the question, “Why does a community need a local newspaper?”
My answers came forward like the rat a tat tat of a Gatling gun. I usually speak lowly but the answers flowed quickly.
Without a local newspaper there would be no one reporting on what happened at the city council or township meeting. No one would know what happened at the school board meeting unless they attended in person. School activities would largely go unnoticed therefore your children would not get the recognition they deserved.
Most community newspapers spend much space in reporting high school sports. If that goes away and then again, no recognition is given to student athletes who work so hard to perfect their craft. Another popular feature is obituaries. Usually only local newspapers carry plaudits about those that die in the community.
A community newspaper is the go-to for events taking place locally. Many newspapers devote space to a community calendar or the like, at which readers can learn the various activities that are being held locally. Again, if the newspaper disappears, residents will have few alternatives to find these events.
Most importantly a community is made up of many small businesses. They use the local newspaper to advertise their products and make readers aware of the many goods and services citizens can obtain locally. Without the local newspaper many of us would never know what the small shop downtown offers.
Some of us think we find many of these items on social media, but I dare say, social media can’t provide it all. And, none of it is capsulized in an easy to read format as your local newspaper. You would have to search high and wide to find many of the items a local newspaper presents in an all encompassing easy to read format.
A community without a newspaper is like a car manufacturer without an engineer. The newspaper
drives the community. It provides the information we all need to make our town, city or village more successful. It is the engine that makes progress happen. We simply can’t do without it.
Or that’s at least what I think. Maybe I’m old-fashioned. Maybe I harken the heyday of newspapers too often, but fortunately or not, I believe newspapers are still vital to our communities. My son and many of our employees stand right alongside me in that belief and we will continue to champion community newspapers until we die.
Thank you for allowing us to continue our labor of love. And please continue to read and support your local community newspaper.

2 Replies to “Mike’s Musings: Here’s why your local newspaper is important

  1. Well said, Mike, but you missed one other important reason local newspapers are important: They allow those of us who are out of town–whether for a short time or all winter–to stay connected to “our” community and that is greatly appreciated.

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