Why? Why bother? Don’t you get plenty of news on your phone and laptop and tablet?
I’m sure it’s easy to share what should be the private agony of public people getting divorces or fighting for child custody. Easy to see pseudo-news about new ways to color your graying hair, You find the heart warming story of a cop who gave a homeless man a pair of shoes. All good stuff and I don’t want to deprive anyone of that.
But with fake news and alternate facts and misleading click-bait headers, I think it’s time every one of us started looking for a better source for news.
So I think you should subscribe to your local newspaper; you can do that and still read it on your electronic device.
Here’s my reasoning.
- Real news reported in the old fashioned way. There are still some true journalists doing the Who, What, When, Where article openers that some of us learned back in high school newspaper class. Some still write headers that aren’t click bait. There has always been a race for journalists to break the story first. We’ve seen that lead to fake news getting reported because there wasn’t time for anyone to check the sources. It’s less likely to happen in your home town paper. A print newspaper knows that it can’t beat the internet for speed. What it can offer is accuracy and detail.
- Paid writers. It’s always good when people get paid for their work. Editors, printers, journalists, people who set up the classified ads, and yes, writers of news articles. When you subscribe to your local paper, you are supporting accurate news, and creating local jobs. Don’t forget the people who actually deliver that newspaper to your doorstep. Subscribe to the newspaper, create a portion of an entry level job. All good things, all the way.
- Local news. I can read all about the major national issues, alongside the Hollywood divorces and the sports trades on the internet. What takes a bit of ferreting out is my local news. Here are a couple of thought provoking items I found on the front page of my paper today. Military members who receive orders to move can legally break leases for homes and cars without having to pay a penalty. But they still get hit with big fees if the sever their cable TV service or gym memberships. Something to think about. Also there was an article about the Washington State Department of Transportation and homeless camps along freeway and highway right of ways. Why is that newsworthy? Well, turns out that over a 5 month period in 2016, our DOT spent $899,000 to clear homeless camps from the right of ways. Those are DOT tax dollars that didn’t go toward fixing our roads and bridges. Something to think about.
- Know your neighbors. Some of the best stuff in the paper is the letters to the editor column, or the comments offered on the e-version. Find out what people in your home town think about what is going on. Read the editorial columns on the editorial page. Tune in to your home town or city.
- A doorway to participate in local politics. Read what your local governments are doing. React. Write, call, email. Pay attention to when neighborhood councils are having meetings, and attend. I admit I haven’t always been good about doing this. But this year, I intend to be more vocal on a grass roots level. I am going to be heard.
That’s my spiel for today. I suggest you try a small experiment. Go to the website of your local paper. Find out what they are reporting that you didn’t know about. And think about supporting them.