The Chemainus Valley Courier regularly features important community news on the front page such as the recent Tour de Rock stop in Chemainus that garnered considerable donations from organizations and businesses. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Role of the newspaper still important

The spread of fake news by sources that aren’t credible makes it hard to believe everything you read

It’s National Newspaper Week, always time for a gentle reminder about the valuable role newspapers serve – particularly in smaller communities.

As much as people like to make Facebook posts until the cows come home, the actual reach of those messages is far smaller than the resources of the newspaper both through print and digital.

In many cases, Facebook pages are for members only and people must sign up to join the group. That immediately limits the audience.

Even though everyone might not pick up a copy of the physical newspaper, it’s there and in a wider distribution than specialized Facebook posts.

Newspapers, whether the message is received through print or the various digital avenues, are still the link that binds a community together and a place people look when in need of support.

The common misconception about newspapers is it’s a free service. The copies of the physical Chemainus Valley Courier newspaper are obviously free, but it’s a business like any other and does require revenue to cover costs.

There are some free options for community listings, but these provide minimal detail. Display advertising brings a greater visibility and many who decide to budget for a particular concert or event find they get decent exposure.

Businesses that have something to offer in terms of a sale or specials discover they’ll receive a significant response from newspaper advertising.

As for the editorial content, we all know newspapers bring a credibility that can’t be matched by social media where “fake news” is readily distributed because there’s no fact-checking for anyone to make a post.

National Newspaper Week overlaps with Media Literacy Week that goes until Oct. 11.

It’s very important for young people to be tuned in with the bigger picture and sort out fact from fiction. Newspapers may be very different today than they used to be before the Internet, like so many other facets of the way we receive information, but no less significant in providing an avenue for people to connect on the same page, so to speak.

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