Even in the best of times and the hearing of positive comments in and around the community, the real value of a small town newspaper is rarely understood.
But it is in these hard economic times that it is even more important than ever to remind our community of the importance and value of their hometown newspaper.
Community newspapers boost the local economy – both through advertising and in news coverage. They showcase community businesses at a time we need to be shopping locally, investing in the community and protecting local jobs. They allow “mom and pop” businesses to reach their most likely customers.
Community newspapers bring us “good news”—news of local school sports and activities, civic club fundraisers, city recreation league registrations, chamber of commerce happenings, church bake sales and students who make the honor roll or dean’s list.
They help neighbors get to know each other a little better. They often report on anniversaries and family reunions, reminding people of the things they like so well about their community. They share biographies of outstanding residents who have left their mark on the community.
Community newspapers provide a forum for expression. They allow readers to make their voices heard, and they enable ordinary residents to deliberate on the future of their community. They encourage civil, issue-oriented discourse and they often set the stage for it.
Many community newspapers serve as “watchdogs” to hold elected leaders accountable. They shine a light on local government, sometimes using “freedom of information” laws to get public records and make those records available to residents. They keep voters informed. They let people see how their tax dollars are being spent. During an economic downturn – when tax dollars are scarce and the demands on them increased – that’s important.
The people who operate these newspapers work and live in the communities they cover. They’re your neighbors. They share your values. They understand your community because they’re a part of it.
Community newspapers are much more than paper and ink. Community newspapers pull communities together. They help connect people with those around them. In this way, community newspapers provide a valuable form of public service.
Amid uncertainty over the quality of our daily economy and the direction of our nation, their role is more important than ever. Let’s hope the outlook for community newspapers is much brighter than what is being reported in the national media. If you want to be encouraged, read your community newspaper.
We are that community newspaper. The Loris Scene. For more than 55 years we have strived to be just that. Your hometown newspaper. My phone is always on. 843-957-2545. Got a good story or a miracle in your life? Got a soldier overseas? Want to get the word out both in print and online? We have both with five newspapers and www.myhorrynews.com.
We no longer have a business office in Loris but we will continue to be that newspaper. We thank our community of businesses, readers, and contributors for our success and look forward to another 55 years of being of service to our community.