October 10, 2018


By Neal A. Shipman
Farmer Editor

Have you ever thought about why you read the McKenzie County Farmer? Or more importantly why the McKenzie County Farmer carries all of the different stories that it does?
The answer to the first question is because you believe that it is important for you to know what is happening in the community that you live and work in. You could be a longtime resident or you could be one of the thousands of new residents who are now calling Watford City and McKenzie County home, but you want to know what is happening.
We hope that you read the McKenzie County Farmer because it is important for you to know what is happening in and around the county that can be affecting your life. It could be you want to know what decisions are being made at the city or county levels of government that will determine when and where roads are going to be upgraded, what changes are being made to local ordinances and zoning boundaries, or how much you are going to be paying in property taxes.
As readers of the McKenzie County Farmer, you believe that it’s important for you to know how your schools are dealing with rapid enrollment growth, and if and when they are going to be building or improving schools.
You want to know about the good things that are happening in the community. You want to know when there are special events - be they a concert, a high school basketball game or an elementary school program. And you want to know when a business is opening or changing ownership.
To those of you that read the McKenzie County Farmer, I am eternally grateful because you believe in my belief that everything that is in your local community newspaper is important to someone.
Granted, some readers may wonder why we carry an obituary from someone who hasn’t lived in the county for years. The answer is because they still have family and friends here. Or some may wonder why do we chase around taking photos of children playing in the parks, swimming at our pools or competing in sports? The answer is that while we can’t run a photograph of everyone in the county, when someone you know or love is pictured in the newspaper, it becomes a cherished keepsake.
The same thing can be said for why the McKenzie County Farmer carries stories on accidents, ribbon-cuttings, weddings, births, 100th birthdays, where oil wells are being drilled, and interesting people that call this place home. To someone, this is important.
In today’s world of 24/7 access to world and national news, as well as how social media is changing how people view the news, it should be a comfort to people to know that their community newspaper is the one constant in their lives.
Newspapers, like the McKenzie County Farmer, are important because everything they print is important to someone. Maybe what is found within the pages of your local community newspaper is not on par with confirming a U.S. Supreme Court justice or what is happening between the United States and China, but what is happening in our local community is important to all of us. And it is sometimes those small things that happen in Arnegard, Keene, Grassy Butte, Alexander and Watford City, that gives meaning and purpose in all of our lives.
This week as the McKenzie County Farmer, along with thousands of other newspapers across the country, celebrates National Newspaper Week, we recognize the role that we play in being your eyes and ears to the things that are important to you.
Community journalism matters because people matter.