Newspapers — the cornerstones of our communities


Many people get their bytes of information as alerts on their smartphones. From war to weather to the economy, the news of the world comes digitally to our many devices.

But what iPads and laptops, online news aggregators, YouTube, the TV networks and nationally syndicated radio programs don’t give us is our community news and stories about our neighbors’ triumphs and tragedies. Global news websites won’t have information you want on how your high school soccer team did, or who, when and where they’re playing next weekend.

CNN.com will have nothing about your local school district budget, what’s driving up costs and what the school board is doing to keep improving your children’s education. Where will the recent string of burglaries a block over from you get reported? Who goes to your local board meetings? Who will announce the library’s adult programs? What site will let you know about the new teachers in your kids’ classrooms?

Where will you find supermarket sales circulars, coupons for local shops, real estate listings and classified ads for cars and furniture? Who publishes, every week, news and information you can use to live and shop, learn and participate in your community? Your community newspapers.

“Local community newspapers are thriving because they have persistently weathered the storm, year in and year out, to remain a fixture in our everyday lives,” said U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers of Michigan, talking about National Newspaper Week, Oct. 7 to 13. “As our societies become more complex and diverse, with growing numbers of ways to obtain information, the role of local newspapers in informing our communities becomes even more significant … [C]ommunity newspapers remain the one constant source of local information. In good times and in bad, they stay focused on us as a community. Now more than ever, community newspapers are an important binding thread of our cities and towns.”

Join us in celebrating National Newspaper Week. Share your copy of the Herald with your kids, and go through the paper with them. Help them learn how to read newspapers so they can keep learning about their community and all that’s happening in it every week. Teachers, bring newspapers into your classrooms and show your students the universe of printed information they can touch and feel. Show them stories about their classmates and their sports teams, their teachers and the local issues facing the places where they live.

Good community newspapers are alive and well, and will remain strong because they serve as powerful links — really, the only links — among a town’s residents, businesses, schools, government, police and fire departments, community organizations and its youth and seniors. Long Islanders loves their communities, and we who work for local newspapers help them understand why.