Newspaper week important

Published 12:01 am Saturday, October 17, 2009

It seems like almost every cause has its own day or month now. Friday was National Boss Day, believe it or not.

So, it should come as no surprise that National Newspaper Week passed last week without much fanfare. In fact, I had forgotten about the week myself.

That’s a shame because the week does serve a great purpose.

The week was designated years ago to commemorate the important role newspapers play in a community.

Many states and their press associations come up with themes to help celebrate the week.

South Carolina used the motto last year of, “Newspapers still going strong,” to help debunk a lot of exaggerated rumors about the industry’s demise.

In fact, many community newspapers are thriving and are even growing.

Other themes have sounded something like, “Let the light shine,” which highlights the importance on public access to information about government.

Newspapers play an vital role in getting information to the public. Not everyone can attend a commission, city council or school board meeting.

Laws like the Freedom of Information Act and Alabama’s sunshine laws assist us in getting public records or keeping government meetings open.

Any story concerning a budget, traffic accident, arrest and much more depend on these sunshine laws.

I hate I forgot this year, but I’ve already penciled National Newspaper Week in my brand new 2010 calendar.

– You can reach Justin by e-mail at