EDITORIAL: Role of the newspaper still important

The spread of fake news by sources that aren’t credible makes it hard to believe everything you read

It’s National Newspaper Week, a time for a gentle reminder about the valuable role newspapers serve – particularly in smaller communities.

As much as people like to make Facebook posts, the actual reach of those messages is far smaller than the resources of the newspaper both through print and digital. In many cases, Facebook pages are for members of groups only. That immediately limits the audience.

• READ MORE: COLUMN: Newspapers matter, now more than ever

Even though everyone might not pick up a copy of the physical newspaper, it’s there and in a wider distribution than specialized Facebook posts.

Advertisers still find they get a good bang for their buck through newspapers, especially when combined with the ever-expanding digital component.

Newspapers, whether the message is received through print or the various digital avenues, is still the link that binds a community together and a place people look when in need of support.

The common misconception about newspapers is it’s a free service. The copies of the physical Chilliwack Progress newspaper are obviously free, but it’s a business like any other.

There are some free options for community listings, but these provide minimal detail. Display advertising brings a far greater visibility and many who still decide to budget funds for a particular concert or event find they get decent exposure.

Businesses who have something to offer in terms of a sale or specials discover they’ll receive a significant response from newspaper advertising.

As for the editorial content, we all know newspapers bring a credibility that can’t be matched by social media where “fake news” is readily distributed because there’s no fact-checking.

National Newspaper Week overlaps with Media Literacy Week that goes until Oct. 11.

It’s important today for young people to be in tune with the bigger picture and be able to sort out fact from fiction. Newspapers may be different today than they were in the pre-internet days, but they are no less significant in providing an avenue for people to connect on the same page, so to speak.

Black Press Media

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