The chosen theme for this year’s National Newspaper Week is “Power of the Press,” and that power, it seems to me, is a very relative thing.
Everybody understands the power of, say, The New York Times or The Washington Post, but probably less recognized and appreciated is the power of the Deer Creek Pilot and the thousands of other small community newspapers just like it all across the land.
In survey after survey, it is these little community-minded newspapers that are continuing to thrive. And there are some very tangible, observable reasons for that, not the least of which might be the notion I share that the smaller the community, the more important its newspaper.
For more than 20 years now, I have put out a little country weekly that’s been published continuously for 138 years in what most folks might consider Backwater, U.S.A., the two poorest counties in the poorest state in the union with a combined population of less than 6,500.
And it is neither flippant nor hyperbolic when I say that little country weekly newspaper is the only news organization on the planet Earth that gives the first tinker’s damn about Sharkey and Issaquena counties, Mississippi. That, folks, is what makes the Deer Creek Pilot mighty, mighty important to those people who call that place home.
Community newspapers have the power to bring about great good and make a profound difference within their locales. And among the good ones, the ones who endure and even prosper, there is always to be found one common denominator — trust.