Peter Funt, one of our local Opinion Page columnist, nailed it with his piece today about local newspapers.
Funt is partial to The Newseum's online presentation of daily front pages from newspapers across the United States.
"Every Saturday morning, just for fun and without spending a dime on gas, I take a trip to roughly 100 American cities and towns," he writes. After scanning the various newspapers across the country, he concludes that local newspapers still capture our remarkable diversity.
I know what he means. I can't imagine rolling into a new town anywhere in this world without picking up the local rag. If I'm a citizen of this planet and interested enough to actually visit a region, I like to know what makes the area tick. The local newspaper is my best guide.
The American Society of Newspaper Editors has launched a series of columns, written by newspaper editors, in an attempt to bust the myth that newspapers are a dying breed.
According to the doom-and-gloomers, newspapers were supposed to have disappeared by now.
(N)ewspapers still have a lot going for them," insists Margaret Sullivan, editor of the Buffalo News in New York. "As sources of news and information, especially in the role of government watchdogs, they continue to outshine Web and broadcast outlets."
In her ASNE column, profits and readership are down, but local papers will plug along as long as they remain committed to investigative journalism and rigorous reporting. That's the service local newspapers provide for a community that can't be duplicated anywhere.