Your weekly newspaper

Recently, newspaper associations published some statistics regarding the status of the written and published-on-paper word, and the results lifted my spirits a little. It seems as if the reading public still has a warm spot in their hearts for a real newspaper.

A number of years ago, with the proliferation of computers and easy access to the Internet, the talk was information at the fingertips would be the death of the newspaper as we know it. I must admit, when I first started using a computer on a regular basis, I thought the talk has some credibility.

Sure, there are some large, daily papers that now have TV stations in their complexes, but I have yet to see how they are used. One of the explanations I received while on a tour was that reporters would read their stories on camera as soon as the stories were completed. I saw that as the end of my career because I neither look good nor sound good on TV.

When I have returned to the towns that had newspaper TV stations, I have yet to see a newspaper broadcast, but the same companies still have their paper boxes and their deliveries to hotels.

I have been an avid newspaper reader all my life. We get newspapers from across the state of Georgia here at the Times-Courier that I read, and I still receive my hometown newspaper. My Dad is a rabid reader of newspapers, and my mom reads a number of them, too. I am scolded when I do not bring home two newspapers on Wednesdays for my daughters to read.

A newspaper is a written, historical record of the community in which it is published. It is a place where local opinions can be expressed. Little Fred’s or little Jane’s basketball team or Scout troop’s picture can be printed and then cut out and placed on the refrigerator. It is a record book of births, marriages and deaths. It is a chronicle of the events that are happening in the past. It is entertainment.

I appreciate our professional associations such as the Georgia Press Association and the National Newspaper Association recognizing the importance of newspapers, and I appreciate our advertisers and readers for allowing us to keep doing what we do, and that is your weekly newspaper.

Al Summers is the news editor for the Ellijay (GA) Times-Courier. He can be reached at 706-635-4313.