My Grand-Niece, Hannah Lietz From Coloma, Creates Ad For Local Newspaper Contest
Every now and then this blog takes a break from politics and posts about other things that are of interest to me. This week the Waushara Argus had their annual insert where students from a variety of local schools created print ads for area businesses. I noted at once that my grand-niece, Hannah Lietz from Coloma, was listed as one of the top finishers in her school for this undertaking.
This blog has noted almost every chance it can about the importance of newspapers. Coming from a childhood where a daily newspaper was in our mailbox, and almost every evening dad would be reading the news from around the state and world meant that I too would become attached to the inky pages. Between my youthful love of Buz Sawyer on the comic page to mom requesting for the hundredth time not to smear my darkened fingers on the white trim in the house—well, newspapers have never lost their importance in my life. As a boy I would locate places all over the world named in the paper and then use mom’s very large hard-covered atlas to find them on a map. There is no way to over-state the role newspapers played in my youth or how they shaped the man I am today.
I think the work that newspapers such as the Argus do each year with projects of this kind are most important to inculcate young people to the role papers provide in our daily lives. From local news and high school sports, reports on meetings of town and county government, and the sometimes pithy letters to the editor allows local papers to be a connection for resident in small communities.
I commented to a relative this weekend as we journeyed down the genealogical conversational road about a real concern many have in this technological world. Where will the death notices and pictures and news reports one seeks for family research be found if newspapers are no longer a constant first writing of history? The absence of a quick response, but a thoughtful quiet moment, made my point.
When I was a boy ‘Uncle’ Walter Cronkite was the anchor that most Americans watched as he informed us about the news of the day. No matter where we lived, or what we thought, we had a point of reference as a nation when discussing the news. To some extent the front pages of the New York Times, Washington Post, or Los Angeles Times can make the same type of claim. For it is these papers that often set the topic for discussion on radio, or by the pundits on the evening cable news shows. I think it important that as a nation we have some points of commonality in viewing the issues of the day. For much of our history the role of newspapers has played a key role in that mission.
Cronkite would often say that he had been allowed only a few minutes to inform the nation but citizens should turn to their morning newspapers for the full report. That lesson is still most valid today.
So I am pleased that newspapers and teachers connect to make the point about the role of newspapers. I also trust that when Hannah is my age she will know the sound of the morning thud of the newspapers as they land on her front stoop in the city she will someday call home. It is a sound that I often hear in the early morning and one that always make me smile. May it always be.