Oct. 6-12 is the 79th annual National Newspaper Week, a recognition of the service of newspapers and their employees across North America, sponsored by Newspaper Association Managers. The theme this year is “Think F1rst - Know Your 5 Freedoms.” Freedom of the press, speech, religion, assembly and to petition the government are woven, like stars in the flag, into the fabric of the First Amendment.

The Greene County Record is the only newspaper dedicated to telling our stories, including our churches, farmers, politicians, community organizations, schools, veterans, senior citizens and special recognitions to name a few. As E. Dulaney Ott, editor of the Greene County Register in 1903, said: “This newspaper is devoted to the best interests of Greene County and its citizens. It will always be found ready to lead every movement for the commercial, intellectual and spiritual advance of the people.”

According to the August 2019 Duke University study “Who’s producing local journalism?” United States’ local newspapers significantly outperform local TV, radio and online-only outlets in news production in both overall story output and stories that are original, local or address a critical information need. In fact, local newspapers account for nearly 60% of the stories that meet all three of those criteria (original, local and addresses a critical need for information), with the other outlet categories each accounting for only 10-15% of the stories that meet all three criteria.

Newspapers remain the most important source of local journalism in communities. The proof is right here in these pages. In the last year alone, our website visits have increased by 20%. On Sept. 13, 2018 our net press run was 1,318. A year later, our press run is more than 1,500.

We are loyal to the duties of a free press. We’re in the community covering the unsung heroes, local government, sports, education, crime and more — often original stories that you won’t find elsewhere. Informing residents isn’t just a job we want to do, it’s one we feel we must do.

On this celebration of newspapers across the country, we also need to celebrate you — our readers. Thank you for understanding the value of community journalism. We encourage everyone in the community to take advantage of the blessing of having a local media outlet in our rural area — one that cares about your community as much as you do.

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