You are supporting more than just the newspaper when you subscribe
This week is National Newspaper Week – an annual celebration of the special role that newspapers have in our nation.
Since well before our statehood in 1889, newspapers have staked a claim in helping to build and connect residents and communities in our great state. Today, that role continues.
Now more than ever, we need good newspapers and good journalism. It’s vital for the health and well-being of our democracy and our republic. Facts and truth matter. Credibility matters. A good newspaper editor knows those things and adheres to them with each story written and every issue that is published and delivered to readers.
Communities and newspapers go hand in hand. A good newspaper is essential in informing a community and connecting residents with local news, updates and advertising information. Most people agree that a good school and a solid Main Street contribute to the makeup of a good community. I would argue that a newspaper is one of those essential ingredients as well.
Across South Dakota, newspapers play an important role in serving their readers and their communities with local, relevant and trusted information. More than 100 weekly and daily newspapers serve our state’s communities and residents. South Dakota has more newspapers per capita than any other state in our nation. Why? I like to believe it’s because South Dakotans value where they live and want to be engaged and knowledgeable about what’s happening in their community. A good newspaper supports those desires.
Last year, South Dakota Newspaper Association commissioned a statewide survey to learn more about what South Dakotans think about their local, community newspaper. Among the findings in the comprehensive survey:
Every month, 83 percent of South Dakotans read their local newspaper in print or online. That is an impressive statistic I believe supports why our state has such a strong number of community newspapers. South Dakotans value their local newspaper.
Local newspapers are the primary source for news and information about local government. Whether it is a front-page story about what’s happening at city hall or it’s the public notices such as school board minutes, residents want to know what local government is doing with their tax dollars.
Newspaper readers vote and are more likely to be civically engaged in their communities and take leadership positions in their communities. Almost nine out of 10 newspaper readers will vote this November.
South Dakotans overwhelmingly believe that information found in newspaper advertising is important to them. More than two-thirds of South Dakotans use newspaper advertising to decide what brands, products and local services to buy.
Today, community newspapers continue to serve their readers and their communities by utilizing various outlets for delivery of news and advertising information. Digital and social media platforms reach readers when and where they want their news. Still, the printed newspaper packaged with news stories, columns, photos and advertisements remains an essential platform that South Dakotans prefer and look for each day and every week.
So, congratulations to South Dakota’s newspapers. And thank you to everybody who subscribes to and supports their local community newspaper. You are investing in your community and our democracy.
David Bordewyk is executive director of the South Dakota Newspaper Association, which represents the state’s 105 weekly and daily newspapers. Each month, more than 574,000 consumers read South Dakota’s newspapers in print or online.