Forgive us if we at the newspaper acknowledge ourselves today in this, the beginning of National Newspaper Week, which runs through Oct. 13.
Many people start the day with their daily newspaper. Whether this is at their breakfast table, at the corner cafe or at their desk at work, and whether it involves reading the front page, the sports pages or just getting their horoscope, going through the newspaper is a necessary daily routine.
This is still the routine for many, only today some of those people will use their computer - or even their cellphone - for this task.
For the past several years, and especially since the exploding growth of computers and other digital devices, many people have been predicting the demise of the newspaper. However, with apologies to Mark Twain, reports of the death of the newspaper have been greatly exaggerated. These self-styled Nostradamuses - many in competing industries - have failed to see the possibilities the digital age offered for a print-based media. Instead of turning away from the digital age, newspapers have embraced technology as our future. It has at times been something of a bumpy partnership, but it gets smoother every day and offers a myriad of opportunities going forward.
Print journalists have seen their obituary written before. It was written at the advent of radio and, later, television. Newspapers survived both mediums by embracing new possibilities while still continuing the time-honored role of offering the most in-depth coverage of events that are important to people in the local community.
"With both print and online editions providing greater access to our news reports each day, newspapers in West Virginia are able to reach more and more people," Don Smith, executive director of the West Virginia Press Association, said. "The newspaper industry is embracing the Internet as another delivery method and using online editions to access readers at home, at work and 24 hours a day. Many newspapers report their websites are the most visited sites in their communities," he noted.
In fact, as it evolves, the digital newspaper brings readers closer to the news by giving them the opportunity to interact with stories in real time, often sparking spirited discussions. We may not agree with every comment left by a reader, and sometimes some are removed because we feel they are in bad taste, but they open doors to readers that were not there before.
Our newspaper has been a part of the lives of Mid-Ohio Valley residents for generations. We feel we will be part of those lives for many more generations.