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By Pete Mohs, 2014 MN Newspaper Association President
Tucked inside the 4H building at the Minnesota State Fair is a working museum filled with old presses, two Linotypes and other features of a 1930s-era newspaper. During the two weeks of the state fair each year, I, along with many other volunteers have the opportunity to share with visitors the importance of newspapers in our communities.
Hundreds of visitors, in just the one day I volunteered at the museum, talked about the important role the newspaper industry has played in their lives – past and present. They showed a great appreciation and passion for the longest running media source.
The newspaper industry, with its print and online formats, continues to play a critical role in documenting the daily activities of communities across Minnesota.
Despite our changing world, the daily and weekly community newspapers remain a prime source for recording local news events. Newspaper staffs document the lives of local citizens from birth announcements to their obituaries, the developments of city councils, county boards and school boards, the hometown school athletics and arts programs, and all the news and year-round area event coverage.
Newspapers provide vital information for readers. Other media sources, like online news networks and radio stations, no longer have many news reporters and depend on newspaper coverage to inform their audience. And television network news barely touches the tip of the iceberg for coverage in each community around the state.
It comes down to the newspaper industry to provide community entertainment and news coverage, not to mention key advertising and public notice information. Newspapers continue to serve as an important function of the democratic process in America.
Newspaper staffs across the country can be proud of their efforts to inform and document the events of their communities. The newspaper industry continues to be the best media outlet for reaching mass audiences, especially with the combined print and online capabilities.