Editorial: Local news matters
To have the trust of our readers and the ability to report the news is not something we take lightly.
Working in the news industry, it’s upsetting when we hear predictions about newspapers and people questioning their relevance.
Have you heard about news deserts? Communities with no source for local news, and residents who have no idea what is happening within city, county or school government, much less where to find important information and hometown features one should expect to read in a local newspaper.
I once heard that, in the future, newspapers will only exist on the East Coast and the West Coast, as if to say the country’s mid-section doesn’t matter. It’s difficult to fathom that kind of future.
The reality is the newspaper industry has had its challenges. Rising costs of paper, unreliable delivery of our printed product and reductions in print days have all impacted customer service. We know people want the news, and with our digital efforts, we are striving to deliver it in a timely fashion. Our website, dglobe.com, is updated frequently during the day as news breaks, and news alerts are sent out when warranted.
Bringing you the news isn't just a job for our Globe team, it's a way of life. It's a way of life we want to continue. The Globe celebrated 150 years in business in 2022 and, while I don't know what the next 150 years will bring, I can only hope there's still a news outlet producing content and sharing stories.
According to Statista, more than 2,500 U.S. newspapers have closed since 2004, while a June 2022 article in The Guardian reported newspapers are closing at a rate of two per week.
It’s depressing news, and if we didn’t believe in our team at The Globe — and trust in the people of our community to support us each week with advertising, subscriptions and calls with news tips — we might struggle with those statistics more than we do.
The reality is, we have a strong team in place, committed to attending government meetings, conducting interviews, writing stories, selling ads, promoting our product and delivering the most we can for the communities we serve.
We can’t be everywhere, but with your help, we are able to tell oh-so-many stories each week and promote the goods and services available in our hometown shops and regional storefronts.
And we aren't alone. Southwest Minnesota boasts some excellent local newspapers — award-winning newspapers — as does northwest Iowa. I am confident their staffs work just as hard as we do at Team Globe. In fact, The Globe, the Cottonwood County Citizen and the Jackson County Pilot all garnered first place awards in General Reporting last week among their circulation classes.
We all strive to tell our readers what is happening, to record for posterity the snowmageddon winter of 2022-23, to share the highs and lows of those who call this region home. Our mission is to write stories that inform, educate and, perhaps, entertain.
Last week, during the Minnesota Newspaper Convention, The Globe collected 24 awards in the Better Newspaper Contest. On the day I drove to the cities, a bouquet of flowers arrived at the office for me — a thank you for a story that appeared in last week’s newspaper. And that evening, as I relaxed after a harrowing drive in white-out conditions, I smiled as I read an email from a farmer who thanked me for sharing his story.
The flowers and the thank you mean so much more than the plaques and certificates, and I say this without a doubt in my mind. In nearly 30 years as a journalist, it’s the accolades from the readers that matter most. Judges can see the effort we make in the variety of stories we write, and look to make sure there isn't a single misspelled word in a headline or story, but readers simply want to know what's happening around them.
To have the trust of our readers and the ability to report the news is not something we take lightly. To know we are appreciated for what we do gives us immense satisfaction.