A week you might not know about

Published 12:10am Friday, October 11, 2013

It’s a weeklong holiday that normally passes without much fan-fare or celebration.

No parades or festivals.

This week marks National Newspaper Week, and while it’s no Christmas or Thanksgiving, it is any important time to celebrate something we all-too-often take for granted.

In previous columns, I have spoken about the reasons I am thankful for this job and the opportunities it has given me, but today I want to take a look at what newspapers — especially small town papers like The Selma Times-Journal — give to their readership and their communities.

First, newspapers like the Times-Journal, give their readership a chance to learn about the interesting people and events around them, and about how their town fits into the larger picture.

Through daily articles we learn more about the history of the place we call home, as well as about what the future holds for that town.

The stories and photos found in daily newspapers often serve as time stamps around which memories are made at a time in history can be remembered.

With a strong focus on local people, places and happenings, newspapers can also directly impact the strength and unity found within a community like Selma.

But above everything else that newspapers offer the people they serve, is a voice.

In interviews for stories, community members and leaders alike are invited to talk about specific issues and these interviews often offer people a better insight into the world around them.

Readers can share their own thoughts and opinions daily through letters to the editor.

These letters allow people to not only state how they feel, but often times these letters are the start of important discussions within their communities.

And now, with the advent of Facebook and other social media outlets, members of the community have an even greater opportunity to voice their opinion.

Every day, the reporters and editors here at the Times-Journal share photos and stories we have complied throughout the day on our Facebook page, and we look forward to hearing what our readers — and Facebook fans — have to say about the work we’ve done and the stories we’ve told.

I know I’m not alone at this paper in always keeping a look out for the next Selma story just asking to be told.

Modern community newspapers offer so many ways for those stories to be told — and just as importantly — there are so many ways for readers to voice their opinions.

It may not be the most glamorous or most celebrated annual occasion, but National Newspaper Week is certainly a time to give thanks for our local newspaper.

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