OP-ED: Newspapers make Pa. communities nice locations to reside | Op-Ed

Nationwide Newspaper Week presents a possibility to replicate on the worth of journalism: an American treasure important to our lifestyle.

Across the globe and nationwide, throughout the commonwealth, and in our personal backyards, newspaper journalists present the correct, truthful, well timed and thorough reporting people and communities must make knowledgeable choices. It’s no shock that information shoppers in Pennsylvania proceed to make newspapers, together with their web sites and different digital platforms, the highest supply for native information and knowledge.

Why is that? Newspapers are essentially the most trusted supply of reports and promoting, in line with knowledge. Pennsylvania newspapers provide robust social and financial worth to the state and its communities. A newly launched report from the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Affiliation exhibits that in 2020 alone the state newspaper trade contributed $1.3 billion to the commonwealth’s financial system. Furthermore, newspapers and their staff are deeply rooted within the areas the place they do enterprise, which is proof of their excessive ranges of dedication, engagement and neighborhood understanding.

I publish a weekly newspaper in Bucks County that covers every part from Boy Scout tasks to high school board conferences. Our robust native focus expands nationally, nonetheless, when the information immediately impacts our neighborhood. That was the case not too long ago when the U.S. Supreme Court docket dominated in favor of development of an interstate fuel pipeline that our neighborhood doesn’t need. We coated occasions commemorating the lives of 18 county residents who died within the 9/11 assaults on the World Commerce Heart.

There are almost 300 newspapers in Pennsylvania identical to ours. All of them are nicely learn and important to the material of their communities. They cowl native authorities, faculties, sports activities, arts and tradition, enterprise, homes of worship, volunteers, and nonprofit organizations.

These native newspapers publish footage of schoolchildren at spelling bees and centenarians celebrating birthdays. They cowl 4-H festivals, publish obituaries, report on stream clean-outs, and never solely present residents with extreme climate forecasts but additionally clarify the human and financial toll within the aftermath of storms. Native newspapers report on the politics and public coverage which are important to residents’ well being and welfare.

“Have been it left to me to resolve whether or not we must always have a authorities with out newspapers or newspapers with no authorities,’’ Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1787, “I shouldn’t hesitate a second to favor the latter.”

As we contemplate the worth of newspapers with the start of Nationwide Newspaper Week this week, take time to consider how your newspaper impacts your high quality of life. To me, newspapers file the primary draft of historical past. They’re important. They’re an archive of occasions. All the things that’s printed is vital to somebody.

Take pleasure in your newspaper. In case you are not already a subscriber, turn into one. Learn public notices and attend a municipal assembly. Write a letter to your editor. Ship a tip to the newsroom. Watch a information video; hearken to a podcast. Do enterprise together with your newspaper’s advertisers. Ask a journalist to talk to your class or civic group. Your assist will make your neighborhood stronger and an incredible place to reside.

Joseph G. Wingert is writer of the Bucks County Herald and chairman of the Board of Administrators, Pennsylvania NewsMedia Affiliation.

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