Newspapers – The cornerstone of community journalism

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By David Bagdon, Publisher

David Bagdon
David Bagdon

Newspapers have been part of the Massachusetts lifestyle for over 300 years, actually pre-dating the American Revolution. With such a long, proud history it’s particularly disappointing to see the closure of two more mastheads this month, The Marlborough Enterprise and the Hudson Sun.

Is it because the newspaper is no longer relevant, or is it just easier to make profits in a digital format? Some would argue that the newspaper is just the delivery method, but the truth is that the corporate mandates to close these papers coincides with a downsizing of news teams and resources. Do the corporate giants believe that news consumers don’t care about their newspaper anymore or they just chasing the profits that come with reduced printing and staffing?

I would submit that newspapers are more important now than they’ve been in 25 years. The pandemic had many negatives, but it also had the unexpected consequence of making communities more self-reliant. Local consumers are viewing “buy local” as more than a slogan; they’re actually doing it. Community pride seems to be at an all-time high and the stronger the sense of community is, the more valuable a committed, local news source becomes.

Facebook is great; it’s wonderful to stay connected with friends we rarely see, but it leaves much to be desired when the goal is journalistic integrity. Real news is not about personal opinions. It demands an unbiased presentation of facts. It involves making phone calls, vetting comments and merging a community’s history with today’s reality to paint a complete picture.

Now in its 47th year, the Community Advocate is still doing the important work of reporting the news that impacts these communities and, although we have a very popular website, we are still about the newspaper.

The Community Advocate is going to continue this mission as long as we believe people have a passion for the news we deliver. We are grateful to every reader and every advertiser who has supported our mission. As long as people care deeply about their communities, the Community Advocate will be doing our part to support community and… to put it all down on paper.