I hear all of the time how newspaper are no longer needed. They’re old-timers’ way of getting news and are not useful in today’s technology-filled world as they used to be when, say, I was young back in the 1980’s.
To this, I say GO GET UNPLUGGED.
As young children learn to read, nothing is more useful — especially when there are no smartphones around — than a newspaper full of stories and pictures. Yes, Big Bird, Bert and Ernie and a computer are valuable tools as well, but don’t ever sell a daily newspaper short on starting a child on the way to reading. Then, when that child hits school age, what proud parent is not going to be looking for that daily newspaper when it comes time for honor rolls, student of the month, award winners for hundreds of competitions among other things.
Once college is over, then comes another special time where daily newspapers play a role. We have graduated, found that special someone and now it is time to venture into a new life as Mr. and Mrs. What better place to let our friends and family know about our upcoming wedding nuptials than in the daily newspaper. We go somewhere, take a cute picture together and then publish the date, time, and place where people can come watch us begin our lives together. And, just after that, Mr. and Mrs. are proud to announce the birth of the little tyke added to the nest. Mr. and Mrs. now have a child, maybe two or three, and want all of their friends to know about little Johnny or Susie when they come into the world. So, once again, we travel to the daily newspaper with a photo of the little darling.
As we go through the years and keep having class reunions with people we still think we need to impress, we go to the daily newspaper when our children earn the same awards we earned as young lads and lasses. Then we can show, in print, Mr. Smartypants and Mrs. High-n-Mighty our children’s successes when they have been divorced for a third or fourth time and have a child whose greatest accomplishment is outrunning the police and getting caught down the road.
Finally, when we get old, we have a place in the daily newspaper to run the obituaries of our parents, brothers, sisters and other beloved family members including us. These printed items become a historical document which tells generations to come that those people lived, were important parts of our lives, and died with us loving them to the end. As an employee with a daily newspaper, if you last long enough at one place — like friends of mine have — you publish the entire circle of life for some people.
So, when you see me on the street, and we get to know each other and I write a story about you or take a photograph that’s published in the Henderson Daily News, I’m continuing a tradition that has gone on longer than I’ve been alive. And it will continue long after I am gone.
Yes, the Internet, social media and other electronic gadgets can instantly tell us what is going on in the world, you are important and you are faster than me in getting information out. But don’t ever forget that people, when they want something that will last for ages, something that is really important to them, they will come to the daily newspaper and get black ink on their fingers with printed copies of clippings that pass our work on to future generations.
It is a fine profession I’ve chosen, one that does not make me rich in money. But it is a profession that makes me rich in passing along family history.
And these, for me, are riches far beyond gold.