EDITORIAL: The importance of community news

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By Nick Seebruch
EDITORIAL: The importance of community news
Past OCNA awards Seaway News has won. Photo credit: Alyssa Vaillant.
On Sept. 15, 1985 Seaway News’ first ever edition rolled off the presses.
Every year on the anniversary of the founding of this paper, I like to take the time to talk about the importance of local news and the impact local papers have on their communities. I think it is important to reflect on these issues and ask what our role is and that by doing this, and writing about it, we can better serve both our readers and our advertisers.
As Editor of Seaway News, I try every day to make sure that we cover as much as we can and that our coverage not only reflects the community that we are a part of, but that it also keeps them informed.
This past year and a half has been one of the most dynamic and revolutionary times to be a journalist and local newspapers have become more important than ever.
The COVID-19 pandemic may be a global event, but it is the local impacts that matter to everyday people and it is only local news that can cover those local impacts.
Whether it be outbreaks at schools, how many people are in the hospital, or local vaccination rates it is community newspapers that gets this news out into the community.
This pandemic has affected society in a variety of ways and it is unique to each region and community and we at Seaway News have tried to follow and chronicle all of these related stories.
The pandemic has exacerbated issues that were just bubbling under the surface, like mental health, drug addiction and homelessness.
We have also seen the local housing market boom thanks to a rise in remote work.
On top of all of this, there continues to be the local stories that we continue seek to share. Whether they be the appointment of Cornwall’s Mayor to the Senate, or a young girl in Apple Hill selling pumpkins to help pay for her schooling and donating some money to CHEO.
I strongly believe that local issues, and local news is what is most important in the day-to-day lives of most people. What Justin Trudeau says on the campaign trail today will have little to no impact on the lives of most residents of Cornwall, SD&G, and Akwesasne, but issues like developing the waterfront, garbage collection, and happenings with local sports teams, these things do matter.
Seaway News goes to over 36,000 homes and we are online every day. We are consistently the leader on social media reaching more viewers than any other local outlet.
This not only helps get our news stories in front of people who need to see them, but it gives unparalleled value to our advertisers as well.
Local papers are a key part of the local economy and we can provide an advertising service to local businesses that just can’t be found anywhere else.
If you’re still not convinced of the value of local news, then consider this study conducted by the University of Notre Dame in the United States that found that towns that
lost their community newspapers saw their municipal taxes rise. If no one is there to ask the questions and share those answers with a wide audience, then politicians don’t feel accountable.
With 36 years behind us, I pledge that we will continue to be the place to go for news and the best viewer for dollar value for our advertisers.
As always readers, you can send your Letters to the Editor to nseebruch@seawaynews.media
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