July 9, 2020

Stevens County Times

Your spot for community news in Stevens County, Minnesota

Newspapers renewable energy for democracy

Print is dead. We’ve heard it too often.

We’ve heard dinosaurs mentioned in the same sentence as print. Buggy whips, too. Print is obsolete having outlived its usefulness in the face of the digital revolution, it is said. Social media – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram – are now the primary source of “news” for many youth. A fair number of older adults also turn to the internet for their “news.”

A friend of ours recently asked a group of young people if they read the local newspaper. The looks on the faces communicated a single message: “You are kidding, aren’t you?” Facebook. That’s where their news came from.

Obviously, we don’t believe print is dead. Nor do we believe that a person can get the news needed to be an informed citizen through social media. What passes as news today is entertainment, gossip, rumor, and the latest crime news. Give a person who doesn’t read the local newspaper a quiz on the most important news stories in their community and they will fail miserably – but they don’t care.To read Reed Anfinson’s full column, check out our e-edition here.

Reed Anfinson