WRIGHT, MEEKER COUNTIES, MN – This year marks the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the newspaper industry in Minnesota.
We joined nearly 200 newspapers across the state in running front pages with no news this week to get attention and make the point: “What if there was no local newspaper?”
The media landscape is constantly changing, but new media does not replace what existed.
Radio did not replace newspapers, TV did not replace radio, and although the internet and social media significantly changed the game, the others are still in place.
Technology allows the new media forms to make many things instant, even to the point of livestreaming crimes in progress.
At the same time, it allows many people a voice, which can create problems, including:
• overload: there is such an avalanche of media messages coming at us every day in so many forms that one must learn to block much of it out and find ways to key in to those that really matter.
• abuse: anybody can say almost anything and present it in a manner to suit their purpose – thus “fake news” is born.
So what’s a person to do?
Well, when something important is taking place, who are you going to turn to? Whether it’s a foreign country launching missiles at us, or the city council preparing to raise property taxes, who are you going to believe?
It’s the trusted media outlets that have over time established their credibility by presenting the “true news” as well as possible.
By the way, the real front page and everything else you’d expect this week is in the paper, just not on the front page.