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In the middle of a spirited conversation with my husband about the industry I’ve grown to love so much, I paused, choked back a tear, and said:
“I mean this in the most loving way possible, but you’re a prime of example of why newspapers are ‘dying.’ “
I then launched into a laundry list of reasons to back up my thesis statement.
He never reads this newspaper.
He doesn’t care what happens locally even though we’ve been Lawrenceburg residents for four months.
He would rather get his news online from national outlets.
He throws away The Anderson News Extra as soon as it comes in the mail on Mondays.
Although I had every reason in the world to feel that way — at the time — it turns out I was wrong.
He let me finish my rant, but was quick to rebut my claims.
He didn’t refute my third argument so much. He said he is interested in national news, and that it is easy to get that information online. Plus, The Anderson News is strictly a local publication, so it’s not like he could get national news here anyway.
But to points one, two and four, he said that he does care what happens locally and that he would definitely read the paper more if I didn’t come home and talk about it so much. Don’t read him wrong here, his point wasn’t that I talk too much (this time), but rather that he already knows what is going to be in the paper before he sees the paper.
I talk about my job so much because I love it, and I’m passionate about it. Josh knows that and appreciates it.
But putting my big mouth and big heart aside, I still may have been wrong.
The Internet is still a growing phenomenon, but according to the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press’ biennial media attitudes survey it still ranks as the least used medium of getting local news.
Approximately 64 percent of those polled get their local news from television, 41 percent get local news from newspapers, 18 percent from radio and only 17 percent online. (The research center notes that figures do not add up to 100 percent because those polled were allowed to select multiple responses.)
It scares me to look into the future and see a world with no local newspapers. And it’s not because that would mean losing my job. It might sound crazy to the average person, but I’m more concerned because of what it would mean to you — the reader. What would you do if you didn’t have this newspaper every Wednesday?
I’m not saying it would be the end of your world, but I like to think your world is a little better because of the information we provide. While TV stations cover a few events in small towns like ours, they don’t do it like we can.
So to those of you who belong in the 41 percent of people who rely on their local newspapers, in an awkward, round-about, 180-degree turn, I just wanted to say thank you for being a prime example of why newspapers are still alive.
Follow Shannon Mason Brock at Twitter.com/ANewsSBrock.