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Column: National Newspaper Week 2018

Posted: October 10, 2018 3:51 p.m.
Updated: October 12, 2018 1:00 a.m.

This week, Oct. 7-13, is National Newspaper Week, the 78th such observance. This year’s slogan is “Now More Than Ever,” coming on the heels of last year’s efforts to remind everyone that newpapers are a source of real, not “fake” news, especially here on the community journalism level.

In looking over what some columnists and editors have written for National Newspaper Week 2018, I saw headlines like “Journalism matters because democracy matters”, “Community journalism matters because communities matter”, “Your journalism has never been more important”, and “Journalism under attack when needed most.”

All of them are right. Journalism has been under attack by those who simply don’t like what responsible reporting produces. This includes people at the top of the political food pyramid all the way down to folks on the local front.

I’ve always espoused the concept that journalism is a cornerstone of democracy in that we serve as your eyes and ears on the government, big corporations and other large institutions. Even with livestreaming of Kershaw County Council meetings now, we believe there is a value in attending and reporting on such meetings so that you also understand the basis (historical, budgetary, etc.) of the decisions being made.

People who watched Tuesday night’s livestream of county council learned during the meeting about today’s front page story regarding the Health Services District of Kershaw County purchasing Beechwood in order to move and expand the Karesh Long-Term Care Center.

There are items in today’s story, however, that weren’t mentioned at the meeting. Plus, we added a layer of context by replaying the histories of both Beechwood and the health district so that anyone reading the article would understand how we got to where we are today.

The Newspaper Association Managers, or NAM, sponsors National Newspapers Week. In its national advertisement, NAM pointed out the following:

“Newspaper media has the power to inform, entertain and connect.

“When you hold your local newpaper in your hands -- whether in print or on a mobile device -- you hold a power tool to inform and inspire.

“For centuries in towns and cities across North America, local newspapers have served as the voice for public good and as a powerful connection between citizens and the communities around them.”

It also noted that, “In this digital age, the newspaper audience has never been greater, with millions reading in print, online or via mobile. No matter the medium, those millions of readers rely on their local newspaper.”

While the overall number of people reading print editions of any newspaper anywhere have decreased in most cases, digital readership continues to increase.

That’s why while this is National Newspaper Week, we also point you to our website, www.chronicle-independent.com, and our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/ChronicleIndependent, for all the news from our West DeKalb Street offices in Camden.

In addition to using Facebook as a way to point folks toward the Web edition of the C-I, we also use it to break news and, as with Hurricane Florence some weeks ago and Hurricane Michael this week, keep you as up to date as possible on what is actually going on with potential disasters and the government’s response to them.

In addition to me, Editor Jim Tatum, and Sports Editor Tom Didato, there’s an entire team of people making sure you get the news you need to make informed decisions and so much more: Publisher Mike Mischner, General Manager Betsy Greenway, Production Director Barbara Stevens and Barbara Jones who works with her, Bookeeper Tina Boykin, Shannon Branham in billing and Carol Smith and Nancy Wilson, who do so much more than answer phones at our front desk. Don’t forget our drivers, who get the papers to the post office and newsracks.

It’s a team effort we do for you, because, yes, journalism really does matter.

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