October 7, 2009


By Neal A. Shipman
Farmer Editor

This week, the McKenzie County Farmer, along with the thousands of other newspapers across America are celebrating National Newspaper Week. I know that there are weeks for everything and that every year, National Newspaper Week also happens to fall on the same week as National Fire Prevention Week.
Some people may find that amusing, but personally I couldn’t find a better group to share a national week observance with than with the firemen. I can’t imagine that many people could imagine not having a fire department in their community. And I would hope that everyone feels the same about the importance of their local newspaper.
The theme of this week’s observance of National Newspaper Week is Newspapers: Carrying the Torch of Freedom, which may seem a little presumptuous to some. But really, the role of newspapers in preserving all of our freedoms is more important today than ever before.
There is no other media - not radio, television or even the Internet - that reaches deeper or more widely into every corner of this nation than do newspapers. Sure radio, television and the Internet have huge roles in informing people about what is happening. But have you ever thought about where do the majority of stories that are carried on the radio, television or Internet originate? More times than not, what you hear on the radio, see on television or view on many news sites on your computer screen first were reported by a newspaper.
So why are newspapers so important? There are many reasons. But the most important is that newspapers deliver the news that you need to know on what is happening in your community, county, the local schools, local sports and other community happenings. Heck, the only place you are going to find out about area births, deaths, engagements and marriages is in our local newspaper. Good luck if you have you ever tried to find any of that information on the radio, television or Internet?
The founders of this country recognized the importance that a “free” newspaper played in the formation of the United States of America when it created the Bill of Rights that ensured the freedom of the press. And that freedom ensures that the public can count on newspapers to always have the ability to present the public with accurate and reliable information when it comes to reporting on actions being taken by the government or others. It’s a responsibility that newspapers don’t take lightly.
The bottom line is this: newspapers, like the McKenzie County Farmer, are here to help you stay informed and keep you abreast of what is going on in our cities, county, and schools.
And while newspapers will continue to face challenges in the future, the McKenzie County Farmer intends to continue to be a part of your life just as we have ever since we started publishing a newspaper back in 1908.
So as we observe National Newspaper Week, I would like to thank all of our faithful subscribers and readers, as well as the advertisers who make this newspaper possible.