In Focus

I am sad to hear another newspaper has closed its doors.

The Warroad Pioneer has discontinued business after 121 years, adding to the growing number of newspapers going under.

In an article by MPR News, Warroad Pioneer Publisher Rebecca Colden said, “Hopefully these stories will let communities know how important local newspapers are. And when they’re gone, there’s no way to replace them.”

“There’s no one who has their finger on the pulse of the community better than those reporters and editors. They cover school board referendums, city council meetings, proms, and sporting events. They know the challenges and opportunities facing their community. But over the last 14 years, the United States has lost nearly 1,800 newspapers,” said Governor Tim Walz on social media.

A University of North Carolina study “The Expanding News Desert” shared: “What is at stake if we lose the thousands of local newspapers that have historically provided coverage of our cities and countryside? Numerous government and foundation studies have found that for a community to reach its full potential, it must be civically healthy and inclusive. Economists call public service journalism a ‘public good’ because the information conveyed through news stories helps guide decision-making in our society. A 2011 report by the Federal Communications Commission found that local newspapers are the best medium to provide the sort of public service journalism that shines a light on the major issues confronting communities and gives residents the information they need to solve their problems.”

Another community has lost their voice and it breaks my heart. I don’t know how many times I have gone to a graduation party, museum, or just saw people hanging on to special highlights which include newspaper clippings. Without a local newspaper there would be no sports photos, no community coverage and nobody keeping a watchful eye on local government.

It’s no secret that newspapers are struggling with rising costs and declining advertising. Two newspapers have turned to GoFundMe to keep the doors open. The Dodge County Independent, of Kasson, and sister newspaper, the Steele County Times, of Blooming Prairie.

“Our goal through our GoFundMe campaign is to bring awareness to people that local newspapers like ours are an important product to the life of the local community and that newspapers are keepsakes and are our history for generations to come,” said the newspapers on their GoFundMe page.

I recall the old adage, “No news is good news.” Well, in this case, no news is bad for us all. Please help to prevent another news source closing by supporting your local newspapers.

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