I’ve heard it a hundred times.
“Print is dying.”
When asked what I do, or even when they already are aware of my profession, friends, family, acquaintances and strangers alike consistently write off newspapers probably because our world is so computer-driven and obsessed with the internet.
And recently, the “war on ‘fake news’” has caused even more strife in my industry.
So without propagating even more negative news, I’d like to shine a light on why what we do in this very newspaper is so critical to the wellbeing of our community.
If you didn’t know, and you probably didn’t unless you’re a newspaper nerd like me, the first week in October is National Newspaper Week.
Not only is this my favorite month because I love pumpkin spice flavored everything, the weather finally takes a break from the heat and Halloween is one of my favorite holidays.
But to make it even better, we kick off the month celebrating all the reasons why newspapers are important, and yes, still relevant.
National newspapers have a tough job reporting information from all over the world and from our own capital. I don’t envy them, even if what they do is so important.
But when the papers become more localized is when the news is imperative.
At Appen Media, we cover everything that goes on in North Fulton and Forsyth counties. We attend town halls, sit through hours-long commission/council meetings and show up at ribbon cuttings of new parks.
We like to bring you the real news that will directly impact your life and your future, often providing happy, positive and uplifting stories from your neighbors.
Sure, we may not be talking about possibly life-changing issues such as nuclear missiles or health care reform.
But when we write about a school rezoning, a tax increase or a scandal at the mayor’s office, these things will change your day-to-day life.
That’s why I love local journalism so much. I enjoy being able to drive down the road and meet the people I’m interviewing. I get to hear and see what they’re telling me about. After meetings, I can go up to the people in charge and ask them questions face-to-face.
And because we have the personal connection, there is no room for “fake news” in our newsroom. Don’t think that stops people from accusing us of it from time to time.
But I can tell you without hesitation, we do our very best to get the full story accurately, because chances are, what we’re writing about will affect our lives, too.
So not only do we have a job to do by being genuine, but we owe it to our readers and ourselves to get the full story.
Most of our newsroom attended a press institute last week where we heard from Georgia journalists about how to survive through the constant berating of our colleagues.
The point was made that it seems many who consume news now only want to listen to stations/papers/channels that reinforce their preconceived ideas.
But the good thing about being on the local level is we have the platform to be unbiased and tell you the good, and sometimes bad, news.
So whether you agree with our writing or think we have an “agenda,” the good news is you’re reading it and hopefully taking in all sides of a story, just like we do every day.