Whiteout Week Column: A hollow shell without the news of your community

News Director

by Keith Anderson / APG-ECM Media

If we didn’t have newspapers, think of all that would be lost. Our blank front page this week is meant to illustrate a week without news and all that we’d lose as a community without that shared connection. As the Minnesota Newspaper Association celebrates its 150th year, this “Whiteout Week” is meant to bring awareness to a shared goal of keeping our communities informed.

But we also serve as a watchdog of government, we strive to capture the moments in life that define our communities, and we hope to entertain and inspire by sharing your stories.

Newspapers are not about the reporters, photographers, sales people, editors or the people who produce these pages every week or post content to sites every day. Newspapers are about you, the people who wake up and go to work every day, who attend school, worship together, volunteer, help during tragedies, celebrate accomplishments, lead service organizations, vote on elections and shop at local stores. It is about you and your absolute value in this world. You are the people who make this community the home where we all find comfort and connected strength. It is you who drive the stories that make this a newspaper.

The newspaper is your resource because without you there is no community.

It is your stories of struggles won and lost that help shape who we are and how we come together as people. Your courageous fight against disease, the emotional and sometimes daunting first day of school for child and parent, the heartache of a home leveled by tornado or destroyed by fire, the joy of a state championship title or a single win for a team that has been denied for weeks, the street assessment being proposed by your city or the new park being planned down the block, the mayor who made good on his campaign promise or the legislator who failed to vote the will of the people. All of these are snapshots of what is shared in your newspaper. And all of them help define who we are today and what we may still achieve.

It is our mission to serve in an objective role to collect, investigate, interview, verify and share all of this information, to keep you informed and to build on our connections as individuals and community.

As a nation, state and community one of our greatest assets has been our ability to see and pursue goals that strengthen the freedoms we all enjoy, but also to protect the rights every citizen deserves. It means thinking beyond what satisfies or promotes only individual goals and appreciates the perspective and opinions of all people.

As Minnesota newspapers celebrate 150 years of journalism, this “Whiteout Day” is being held to recognize all that we hold true and important for strong communities. Our pledge to you is our continued effort to find and explain trusted stories, issues and information that are relevant for your lives. It’s what newspapers have been doing for generations.

And with your continued support, it’s what we will continue to do.

Imagine there’s no newspaper…think of all we’d lose?

Keith Anderson is director of news for ECM Publishers. Sun Newspapers is a part of ECM Publishers, which is a division of APG Media.

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