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My Camera Editorial Advisory Board comment published on Feb. 21, 2009, in response to the Camera’s question: What role do you think the local paper plays in your community? What do you think will define newspapers or news organizations in the future?

I hope the public will realize before it is too late the value of newspapers in holding government accountable and will support them strongly. We need journalistic light to keep sunshine hitting places officials may wish the public did not see. And, regardless of TV, state or national newspapers and online sources, local newspapers like the Camera beat them all in covering local issues.

Covering the city council and the school board is a great service right there. Very few of us have time to keep up on all the issues on their agendas. Yet, their actions have a direct effect on us and our community. Then, the local paper covers crime and the courts, the district attorney’s office and fire districts to name a few more.

Local newspapers provide neighbors a unifying point of reference to local and national news for just pennies a day. No special skills and no expensive technology is required, which is a big plus for democracy. An informed public is better at participating in the democratic process, and the editorial pages give space for us to hash out the issues.

Local advertising, business news and resources helps round out the paper along with personal milestone announcements.

Unfortunately, all this could be lost if unless the public becomes more willing to pay for what it receives. No journalist should be expected to work for nothing. So, if you use the resource, be willing to fork over some cash for the benefit.


Source: Daily Camera


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