Happy National Newspaper Week

Published 2:02 pm Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Yes, newspapers are important.
During National Newspaper Week, which started Monday and runs through Saturday, it’s time to celebrate that right here, in Elizabethton and Carter County. You have a twice-weekly community newspaper that strives to bring accurate and unfiltered coverage of local news that is important to you.
Without a local newspaper, you might not have known the facts versus the fiction about COVID-19. It would be harder to stay current with how our local schools were going to keep your kids learning or how the local high schools were going to tackle a return to sports. Right now, we’re bearing down on plenty of local county and city government news as well. You need to know what is happening with your local animal shelter, how your tax dollars are being spent, and how government is responding to the COVID crisis.
All this is important to you.
This has been a trying few months for all of us. Our reporters and editors have continued to work during the COVID crisis, and when necessary, from home. We’ve heard the adage that “working from home really means working all the time,” and, boy oh boy, is that adage right. News happens 24/7 and our reporters are on the job, even when juggling a laptop. We also had our own COVID cases to deal with.
But we owed you that. You had to know what was going on.
Just like plenty of other businesses during this pandemic, the newspaper business has struggled. According to the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, a nonprofit journalism school and research organization located in St. Petersburg, Fla., more than 60 local newsrooms closed because of the pandemic. And since 2004, 1,800 newspapers have shuttered, leaving a swath of dreaded “news deserts” in the United States.
How lucky we are in this area that we have plenty of reputable media outlets to choose from. If you’re reading these lines, you’re either a subscriber or maybe giving us a look online. Either way, you chose us. We’ll always appreciate that. And by reading and subscribing, you’re doing your part to keep newspapers alive.
How else can you help? You can advertise and you can patronize the businesses that advertise with us. It’s your conscious choices that can keep Elizabethton and Carter County the vibrant news area that it is.
So, during this week, the 80th National Newspaper Week, it’s also time for us to thank all of you.
Because without you, you might not have us.
And nobody needs a news desert.