Why Local Newspapers Are So Important

Foxboro Reporter

By Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter 8/2017

“The truly literate and involved American should be reading the local newspaper. Weekly newspapers and the internet are also vital to maintaining an educated citizenry. We must ensure that they continue to flourish because they are all important resources for maintaining a healthy democracy.” — John W. Whitehead, “Why Local Newspapers Are the Basis of Democracy,” Huffington Post, 5/14/2009

In this digital age, it is very likely you are following everything that’s going on in Washington right now. National news is breaking every hour. Speaking for myself, I know more about this president’s staff and his day-to-day activities and the health-care bill(s) than I want to. Because that is the national news story.

But you know what? NONE of the nightly news shows tell you what’s going on in YOUR town.

Your local newspaper DOES.

Local newspapers – city or town – still matter. VERY much.

Consider this, the July 20 edition of our paper of record and local newspaper, the Foxboro Reporter, contained a lot of news I didn’t know. The Orpheum Theater is close to being acquired. Some bobcats – not the sports kind – have been spotted around town. There was a terrific profile of Father Gerry Hogan of St. Mary’s Parish. Foxboro had a visit from Newton’s Mayor. The Payson Road recreation Pavilion is going to be dedicated. There was a heartwarming story of the Foxboro resident who collected over 100 bicycles that will be repurposed into basic transportation in poor African nations. Foxboro recreation reports that the summer program is FULL! And – a new business has opened — welcome Gunther-Tooties!

Several Foxboro residents passed away. There was an update about the pilot program of bringing trains to Foxboro. Two of the Reporter’s regular columnists once again wrote thought-provoking articles, one about Foxboro Cable Access and another, a humorous piece about his golf game. Two local homes were recognized for historical significance.

Three pages were dedicated to local sports coverage. Our local sports kids are incredible and so talented. There are over a dozen programs being offered by the recreation department. On the religion page, Father Ed of St. Mark’s once again wrote a thoughtful piece.

Foxboro seniors remain very busy. The Jaycees continue concerts on the common and the recreation department is offering free movies. The paper also published a half page of upcoming events.

Next is the classified section – where YOUR neighbors and local businesses are running ads – they want (and need) your business. Support them. On the back page, a business profile – it’s always good to get to know a local business owner.

Friends, I paid one dollar at Cumberland Farms for my local newspaper. What I have just listed doesn’t cover everything offered in those 16 pages. In-Cred-Ible. So much local news I did NOT know. So much going on – many things that affect Foxboro directly.

My dad used to tell me he read every page of the newspaper. Maybe not every word of every story – but every page. Why? To stay informed about what was happening.

In my favorite John Wayne movie, “The Shootist,” the eponymous character buys a local newspaper as he arrives in town at the beginning of the movie – and he later says, “I bought this [newspaper] the day I arrived, and I said to myself, “I’m going to read every word, and when I’m done, “I’ll know for a fact exactly what happened on January 22nd in the year 1901.” It was an important day my life, and now I know.”

Well, I read my local newspapers – and I read every page – not every word of every story – but every page – and now I know in LOT about everything happening in Foxboro as of July 20 in the year 2017. It was an important time in my life, and now I know.

Don’t you want to know what’s going on in town from an official news source? Your local paper offers a great deal of all-local coverage every week. A nice bargain at $1.00.

Every town, every city needs a local source. Local newspapers are still the best way to dig deep into LOCAL news and to know what is going on in YOUR town — to inform you and help you understand the stories and events that affect YOUR town and YOU.

Press on, local newspapers!

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