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Yes They Are The Real Deal

Allen J. Beermann, Executive Director Nebraska Press Assoc

This week is National Newspaper Week throughout America.  And, the theme relates to newspapers being the Real Deal.  
 
Newspaper publishers and editors normally do not like to toot their own horns.  This particular week is always the exception. Those of us in the newspaper industry are proud of what we do in America to chronicle the history of our communities and states.
 
Yes ,newspapers are the Real Deal.  For the past 30 days, I have personally witnessed dozens of folks reading newspapers in a nursing home; I have seen refrigerators in many homes with clippings from community newspapers; on an airline flight, more than half of the passengers were reading their local daily paper; at the local library, in the reading room, dozens were reading the newspaper; you can bet that every athlete was reading the sports section; and in two hospital waiting rooms, almost everyone was reading the morning papers. Folks, this is the Real Deal!
 
Of course, most newspapers in our state have also become a media outlet.  That is, they have an on-line presence.  Papers have websites and post even local news quickly on their sites.  This is just an additional outlet for community news—from a trusted source.
 
Smart phones are just a tool to access news.  Smart phones do not have news reporters on the local beat.  All real news comes from reporters who are on the scene, who are in the courthouses or city halls and the statehouse.  This kind of news gathering cleanses us from fake news.  We call this “boots on the ground”! Most internet news comes from the print sources who are covering the stories for print editions.
 
I am also happy to report that newspapers “are not dead”!  Here in Nebraska we have about 600,000 paid subscriptions, and on-line subscriptions are also growing.

It is interesting to note that on publication day, most community newspapers have a line out the door of folks coming into the newspaper office to purchase over-the-counter copies.  I notice that on Sunday afternoon when I go to a local restaurant to have lunch, all of the rack copies of the newspaper are already gone.
 
It is comforting to know, that in readership surveys in Nebraska and surrounding states, about 80% of us are reading at least one newspaper per week.  So, I guess I can conclude by saying “newspapers are the Real Deal”!