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National Newspaper Week: Celebrating our daily tasks

October 07, 2002|by BOB MAGINNIS

This is National Newspaper Week, a celebration of the profession that's been sponsored by a group called the Newspaper Association Managers for more than 60 years. It's a once-a-year chance to reflect on a complicated operation that many, including those in the business, sometimes take for granted.

How difficult is it to put out a daily newspaper? Imagine that you're a baker who must bake a cake every day, using a different recipe each time and getting the ingredients from different sources. In effect, that's what newspaper people do each day, year in and year out. It's a testament to their skill and professionalism that they do it so well.

For its readers, the newspaper not only provides the daily news - who was arrested or who wrecked their vehicle - but it also marks the important milestones in their lives, from birth to death and everything in between, all at no cost to the person whose achievement is being shared with the community.

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But newspapers provide more than an account of what happened. They also have reporters who ask elected officials, police and others why things happen. Why do taxes have to go up? Why did the car skid off the road? By reading and evaluating their answers to such questions, the public can determine how good a job their public servants are doing.

Want to share your opinions on those topics? That's another free service of the newspaper, which encourages reader letters.

Are you in the market for a new car or trying to find a new job? The newspaper provides advertisers and employers with a way to reach thousands of potential customers in the community each day.

The newspaper is more than a product. It's a group of people who care about their community and serve, with the newspaper's blessing, in service clubs, study committees and charitable organizations.

What they do doesn't often make headlines, because they're more interested in making a difference than standing in the spotlight. This week we ask readers to remember that what you see in the paper is only a part of what we do. Thanks for reading.

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