Keith Taylor column 2021

It’s National Newspaper Week and it’s fitting that we are putting out our first newspaper at our new location.

This year marks 81 years our industry has celebrated the occasion and we are one of thousands of newspapers across the country that bring the news to you on daily or weekly format. It’s a job that we don’t take lightly and one that we are serious about. Even in times of uncertainty, we do our job to cover the news in our community that we feel is relevant to our readers.

Ever since Al Gore supposedly invented “the information super highway.” that has evolved into a plethora of false narratives and news propaganda filtered on both sides of the aisle. Social “Media” sites such as Facebook, Twitter and an app called ’Tik Tok” that encourages our children to do things such as stealing soap dispensers in gas stations, restaurants and our schools, are considered — whether good or bad — the newsroom of our times.

Those sites can be used for personal happenings to share with others in our lives, but they lack credibility and can’t be trusted as a worthy news source. It’s up to newspapers and other traditional news outlets such as radio and television to provide the facts and report the news without fitting the narrative to a personal belief.

The Berea Citizen has been published for our readers in Madison County since 1899 and is the oldest tenured newspaper in Madison County. We are still family owned by Nolan Group Media, a chain of eight newspapers that make each of our decisions locally and independently. We aren’t driven by a cooperate machine fueled by large profit margins and governed by out-of-state decision-makers.

The method at which we deliver the news has changed because of the internet and its influence on our society, especially our younger generation. However, the message remains the same as it did before radio, television and web sites came into the equation.

During the past decade, a myth has been circulating that newspapers are dead, and that can’t be further than the truth.

People want their newspaper each week and when it doesn’t arrive on time in the mailbox each week, our phone can’t stop ringing.

Our reach is stronger than ever thanks to print and the internet, which has allowed given us a unique way to reach our readers.

In some ways, we are now a “daily” because we update our web site frequently to provide news that is relevant to our readership. Some of the news, such as breaking events, we instantly put on our web site to help inform our readers of timely news.

As we have learned, the internet serves a purpose in our ever-changing society, but print is as strong as its ever been and is one of the most effective ways to reach our readers, especially our older generation who don’t rely on social platforms to get their news.

We can’t leave those who blazed the trail and took care of us behind.

They deserve better and we will continue to make sure they are covered each and every week.

We also are there for those who rely on the internet and will continue to adapt to the changing landscape of today’s society.

Much like the news, it never stops.

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Keith Taylor is publisher of the Berea Citizen

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