Every week is newspaper week. Heck, every day, really, is newspaper day when you work in this industry.
In the spirit of celebrating a specific week, however, the newspaper powers-that-be have designated this week, Oct. 7-13, as National Newspaper Week.
It’s a week when we celebrating all things print; a week to reflect on our history as a news-gathering organization, our challenges through economic and social changes and how we can better serve the millions of people that still find value in the newspaper.
I originally penned the majority of this column back in December of 2010.
With National Newspaper Week upon us, though, I thought it would be a good time to resurrect these words, update them and remind people around Cass County why we at the Democrat Missourian – a proud newspaper of over 132 years – do what we do, why we believe so passionately in this profession.
As we reflect on what it means to be the oldest businesses in Cass County and the news leader of this great area, we also think of the tremendous responsibility we have each day, each week to report the news and information of the day.
At the Democrat Missourian, we believe in the very definition of journalism – the gathering, writing, reporting and editing of news and the accountability we accept with that definition.
We believe in the industry of journalism, its past, present and future, both in print and online.
We believe in the support of our community as it relates to our partnerships with public entities and hundreds of businesses.
We believe in a healthy relationship with, and the mission statements of, many of our partners in Cass County, including the coalition of chambers and all local chamber of commerce organizations, our school districts, city governments and county officials.
We believe that while these partnerships are vital, they do not preclude us from doing investigative work into these organizations if and when unfair or egregious acts occur.
We believe in the freedom to express opinions and the right to energetic and enthusiastic debates within the pages of our newspaper.
We believe all letters to the editor and opinions should come with a name and full responsibility, and that anonymous sources should only be considered in the most extreme circumstances.
We believe in the right to open and public records and meetings and applaud those groups and organizations that do not view the Sunshine Law as a deterrent but rather a vital avenue for disseminating information.
We believe that community journalism is alive and well and should be encouraged at many levels.
We believe in journalism education at our high schools and beyond as to promote our proud industry to a new generation of writers, editors, advertising professionals and photo-journalists.
We believe in the rights of our advertisers, fair trade, reasonable pricing and following all applicable laws that govern certain advertising categories.
We believe in community journalism and the ability to successfully engage the population to contribute to this newspaper to help further that cause.
We believe the newspaper has a role and duty to help lead the discussion during election time, including promoting open forums with candidates and providing steady coverage to all those involved.
And we believe an educated and informed public demands a newspaper that employs an energetic and talented staff, ready to serve in all capacities that help ensure the news, advertising and information is distributed in a timely fashion.
It’s a responsibility we take seriously. We’re proud to work each day to that end.