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Why the newspaper should be a part of your life

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Many of you who don’t normally see our product have received the News Advertiser this week during our full coverage week.

Hopefully, something has captured your attention that would make you consider the CNA as a regular habit in your life.

For those not so inclined yet, let me offer some reasons. I think of the young man in his 20s who recently helped a friend in his office with IT work on the computer system. My friend noted the business stopped subscribing to the newspaper in a budget reduction.

The young man scoffed.

“Hah, who reads a newspaper anymore?” he said. “I just get my news (online) from MSN.”

Or, maybe Huffington Post.

Now, I’d like to thik my sons in their 20s were occasionally logging on to the web site of their local newspaper to find out what was going on in their community, but I know that’s not very likely.

Sometimes I feel like I don’t reach people on this subject until they have children. Suddenly, they realize things their kids are doing are publicized in the paper. And, that maybe it’s a pretty good record or keepsake of those activities.

But, whether you have kids or not, you’re a better citizen for being informed of what’s going on outside your door, or from your Facebook friends.

The growth of social media has made everyone a reporter, in some respect. Many people upload photos from the same events I attend, before I get around to it. There’s some commentary back and forth about it, as well.

Twitter has given us an instant platform to tell hundreds of “followers” in an instant what’s going on in our world — whether they want to hear it or not!

But the newspaper, and the local radio station, are still the sources you can go to for detailed local information. The reason for that is, we have access.

The chief operating officer of Gits Manufacturing, or the head football coach of the local high school, is not going to make time for everyone with a Facebook account. But we, as trained journalists, are privy to situations where we can ask the pertinent questions, and digest it for presentation to the public.

Our information is exclusive. At some point, perhaps, there may be web-based alternatives to the local news resources of local newspapers. But for now, at least, in Creston and the surrounding area, the local newspaper is your source for local and community news, education and school news, sports events and what county government agencies and services are up to.

Plus, our training allows us to provide the scrutiny required in objective journalism. We’re the watchdog of your local democracy.

I’ve asked many a tough question that resulted in that person not talking to me for awhile. But I was doing my job.

The best local newspaper brings people together in one setting for dissemination of local news. Now, that includes our online product, and links we provide on our Facebook page and tweets we send out announcing our latest work.

An understanding of the local news is vital, I think, to a thriving society. Otherwise we’re all huddled in our cave, with no common knowledge. And, we’re not just operating on the latest “rumor” thrown out there on somebody’s Facebook post, or Twitter timeline.

Local journalists are the most important people in interpreting what’s really going on in their communities, and explaining it to the citizens. That can mean making sense of a wide range of issues and topics. In this job, I’ve learned a lot about life.

So, the next time you see one of our photographers covering your child’s school concert, or interviewing your kid after a big game, hopefully you’ll think that you’re missing out on something if you don’t subscribe either to the paper itself, or the online product.

I’m going to be there either way. Let’s be partners! (Reader interaction is a big thing now, you know. That’s why we have comment sections on our online stories, and we post our email and twitter addresses.)

•••

Based on comments I’ve heard in the aftermath of this year’s event, the days of the Sunday Powder Puff football game for girls, and Volleybrawl for the boys, could be short-lived in the Creston homecoming tradition. Too many risks.

You can’t fault the kids for going out and trying to succeed at something that’s basically fun. But when the team’s best volleyball middle hitter bangs up an ankle two days before third-ranked Kuemper Catholic comes to town, the coach, and teammates, have an unexpected problem.

It wasn’t so long ago that cross country runner Kierra Smith couldn’t run in the home meet, because of a similar Powder Puff injury 48 hours earlier.

Coach Pat Schlapia said one year Colo-Nesco was ranked No. 1 in the state in cross country, but the No. 1 girl suffered an ACL knee injury in Powder Puff, and the team didn’t even make it to state.

CHS Principal Bill Messerole said one year at Cherokee, a University of South Dakota tight end recruit badly sprained an ankle in the Volleybrawl event, and wasn’t the same the rest of the season. He might have earned a partial scholarship, but USD backed off after the subpar season.

Both Schlapia and volleyball coach Polly Luther feel the risks aren’t worth it, and football coach Brian Morrison had to be nervous when his guys were jumping around by the net, just one misstep on somebody else’s foot from missing the rest of the 2013 season.

I’m not taking a stance, personally. If the school wants to continue those things, fine. But I get the sense from people across the board, including Messerole and Activities Director Jeff Bevins, that they wouldn’t be too upset if they just went away.

On a brighter note, today’s forecast was outstanding for our local homecoming events on tap throughout the day and evening, so enjoy!

•••

Contact the writer:

Twitter: @larrypeterson

Email: lpeterson@crestonnews.com

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