Local newspapers tell the whole story

Each Wednesday as a kid was exciting. That was the day that the Palmerston Observer was delivered.

For those that aren’t familiar, the Observer was our weekly paper in my hometown of Palmerston.

But what was exciting about each Wednesday was that I got to find out what was happening in town.

Sure, you got to hear the rumour and innuendo at the local restaurants and arenas about a town council decision or about what new business was going into a Main Street storefront, but what was published in the Observer was, by all accounts, factual.

That’s because local newspapers told and continue to tell the entire story.

Journalists at these papers attend local council meetings, talk to the people involved in the issues of the day, and take rumours and either confirm or deny them.

And sometimes when there is an issue that needs to receive more attention than it is getting, local newspapers bring those issues to the forefront.

In the past, newspapers were the only source of news in our communities. Much has changed, as we all have radios in our cars, multiple televisions in our homes and nearly everyone has access to the internet, all of which have some form of local news.

But do those other forms of media, while convenient, cover local news like your local newspaper?

I would argue they don’t.

In today’s world, we sacrifice knowledge in favour of convenience. People want to know what is happening in their community, but they want it in as few words as possible.

I can’t recall how many times someone has asked me this question: “Hey, what’s with council passing this bylaw?”

My answer, more often than not, is, “Did you read our story?”

“No, but I saw the headline on Facebook,” or “I heard on the radio that they passed it.”

I then reply with, “Well, if you read our story, the answer to your question is there.”

The great thing about your local newspaper is that you get the whole story, every week in print.

It’s one thing to hear on the radio or see on Twitter that council made a decision about whether or not to proceed with that large infrastructure project, but it’s another to know exactly why they made that decision and how they plan to fund it.

Local newspapers tell that story.

It’s one thing to see a report on television about a fire that destroyed a home or business, but it’s another to know how the community rallies behind that family or business as they clean up and recover.

Local newspapers tell that story.

It’s one thing to see a photo of a Second World War veteran on Twitter or Facebook and for us to “Like” or “Retweet” it, but it’s another to read about that veteran’s experiences in the war and how it changed them.

Local newspapers tell that story.

According to Newspapers 24/7: 2018 Edition, a readership study done by News Media Canada, 88 per cent of Canadians read newspapers each week on different platforms.

Why? Because Canadians are hungry for news that they can rely on and they trust their local newspaper.

Independent community newspapers, such as the Listowel Banner, Walkerton Herald-Times and Wingham Advance Times, take great pride in being the newspaper of record for the community. We have been able to do so for the past 150-plus years because of the great support shown by our readers and advertisers.

If you enjoy what you see in this week’s paper, consider buying a subscription.

For $48 a year, it’s a bargain and will help keep you informed about your community. If you are looking to advertise your business or event, we have packages for all budgets.

Thank you for reading this week’s paper. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do bringing it to you every Thursday.


Mike Wilson is the editor of Midwestern Newspapers. For story ideas, news tips and feedback, email mwilson@midwesternnewspapers.com.