Skip to content

The Newspaper’s Role in Culture

Newspapers are centuries old with many currently in competition with the internet’s popularity and dissemination of news and information, both relay opinion and fact. Any news source can defy and/or clarify reality as we know it. Regardless newspapers are a vital part of our culture giving voice to their communities. 

When perusing the internet, we leave footprints behind recording our likes and dislikes which can be tracked and exploited. Data is collected for a variety of reasons: commercial, political, financial and other. On the world wide web we are surveilled, something that weekly editions don’t do.

Newspaper readers cannot be tracked by footprints left behind nor do informative news-weeklies collect personal information targeting their readers/subscribers, as small town area papers remain a vital source for communities such as ours. Their offices commonly offer printing services, office supplies and more.

In its glorious past the colorful voluminous Sunday papers were an event in themselves, riddled with comics, popular trends, fashions, puzzles, want ads of every kind, columnists, Dear Abby, art, personals, games, puzzles, op-eds, international, national and local news, commentary, political news and propaganda, announcements, events, technological and scientific accomplishments, culture, style, entertainment, etc. There was something for everyone. Our local community newspapers now rival the big city rags, some of which were once eligible for a Pulitzer Prize, many now have close to the same number of pages and/or sections, ads and so on as their community counterparts. This is a sign of the times.

Words in print on paper do not result in accumulation of junk mail nor do they carry viruses that infect our computers, but they do inform communities about local, state and some national/international news and information that may be of concern or might affect their communities. It’s always exciting to see a familiar area member in the spotlight, receiving an award or opening a business, etc. There are many advantages in having community newspapers, as they serve area residents, businesses and visitors.

They give voice to local officials, readers, clubs, organizations, general input from the community at large, advertisements, opinions, comments, columns, sports, articles and photographs of area events, public notices and more. This remains a service vital to many communities throughout our country.

In the old west editors had to defend their rights and those of their communities to maintain free speech, commonly with a musket. Thank goodness we’ve become more civil, using words instead.

Dawn Allen,


Leave a Comment