National Newspaper Week – My Eastern Shore

Newspaper subscribers in Minnesota likely were shocked in August when the news disappeared from the front page. According to a report from Publisher’s Auxiliary, more than 220 newspapers in the state released issues with front pages that were mostly blank.

“Imagine no newspapers …” some of the front pages read. “Without you, there is no newspaper!” others informed readers. The effort was aimed at commemorating the Minnesota Newspaper Association’s 150th anniversary. “It’s important for people to know the value of newspapers. We didn’t do it to get people mad. We wanted them to appreciate what they have,” Pete Mochs, publisher of the Brainered Dispatch, told Publisher’s Auxiliary.

This week marks National Newspaper Week, a celebration which began in 1940 as a means to organize members of the press throughout the country “in a united front to impress American readers with the reliability, integrity and enterprise of their newspapers,” according to a report that year in The California Publisher. “Seventy-seven years later, American newspapers are demonstrating their resolve each day to help readers determine fact from fiction and to inform the nation of all the important news and issues,” Thomas W. Newton, chairman of this year’s National Newspaper Week, wrote in a statement.

Much has been made in the past year about fake news versus real news and how Americans can discern the accuracy of what they read. Newton wrote that the issue made for this year’s National Newspaper Week theme.

“This year’s theme for National Newspaper Week — ‘Real Newspapers … Real News’ — couldn’t be more fitting to frame the question: Do Americans have the tools necessary to decide for themselves what is real, what is factual and what is necessary for self-government to endure and the country to prosper?” Newton wrote. “I submit that they do. The tools are American Newspapers, dailies and weeklies, printed and delivered to American doorsteps and accessed on laptops, tablets and smart phones. Real newspapers in all their formats are created by real journalists, and that’s the key.”

The Kent County News is a small community newspaper. We have a four-person editorial team dedicated to keeping readers informed. Having such a small editorial team can be challenging. Researching intensive stories takes longer. As much as we would like to, we cannot be at every community event. We run out of time and space to get a story in print. Having a small team also is an asset. It is easier for you to get to know us. Our team members are part of the community and not just by the service we provide. We are your friends and neighbors.

The Kent County News also is a local institution, stretching back to the late 1700s — 1793 to be exact. As it states on our logo, we are a direct descendent of The Chestertown Spy. We have been bought and sold, owned by individuals and large companies. Regardless of ownership, our mission remains to provide Kent County residents with Kent County news, accurate reporting in objective stories.

As with all industries, the internet has changed things. People want more news faster. And we work hard to provide that. Though we are a weekly newspaper, we keep our websites — and the regional roundup — updated daily with the latest reports. The internet allows us to broaden our reach and expand our coverage. We offer more regional news online. While for a big event like this weekend’s Chestertown HP Festival or Downrigging Weekend or Kent County High School’s graduation ceremony, we may have 10 photos in the paper, but we post 50, 80, 100 online in galleries. 

Reporting, taking photos, maintaining a website, printing a newspaper: All of these activities cost money. We rely on your support through print subscriptions, online subscriptions, newsstand sales and advertising to make this newspaper happen.

As the local newspaper of record, we are government watchdogs. We cover the courts and the police. We write hard news stories about environmental concerns, education issues and real estate development. We also are the place to turn for feature stories about you, your family, your friends and your neighbors. Did you build something neat in your workshop? Did your neighbor return from an aid mission abroad? Did your nephew earn his Eagle Scout badge? Did your daughter makes dean’s list? We want to hear from you. We want to share your stories.

And to do all that, we need your continued support. Thank you for picking up a copy of the Kent County News every Thursday. Thank you for going to on your lunch break and checking out the latest news. Thank you for sharing our reports on Facebook and Twitter. Thank you for being readers.


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