Local Journalism, Newspapers and The Newburyport Blog

Ask not what The Newburyport Blog could do for you, but what you could do for The Newburyport Blog.

Just to mess up the famous and inspiring words of John F. Kennedy.

What I am seeing is that local newspapers are having any number of blogs. (One local newspaper actually, for a few days, had a blog called “The Newburyport Blog.” This mix-up has been taken care of and the name has been changed, which I very much appreciate.)

And all of this had me scurrying to see what in the world could be going on.

And I spent several days doing some research. (Disclaimer, a few days– not a PhD’s worth of days.)

From what I read, it appears that local newspapers in general are now under the same pressure that national newspapers have been. Many people appear now to be getting their news more and more from the Internet. Especially I would imagine the 40 and younger crowd. And folks who grew up with newspapers, the “older” crowd, as I understand it, may still very much enjoy having that newsprint to read with their morning coffee or whatever, as a way to get the news.

And it appears that newspapers could be in a cyclone of transition–what to put in print and what to do with the Internet. And apparently how to convince advertisers that advertising on the Internet would be a good thing, which it most certainly would be.

And local newspapers in general, as I understand it from my reading, could be at risk.

And personally, I am a big fan of “old fashion” journalism.

Bill Moyers (Bill Moyers keeps showing up on the Newburyport Blog, because I happen to be a big fan of “wise men.” And Bill Moyers fits into that category for me big time) addressed this particular issue in a speech called:

“What Adam Said to Eve,” For the annual conference of the 
Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication
, On August 9, 2007 in Washington, DC. ( Please press here to read the entire transcript of that speech. It is truly fascinating and very moving.)

And what does this have to do with the Newburyport Blog?

Well, apparently, folks take the Newburyport Blog (this Newburyport Blog) way more seriously than I ever intended, wanted or realized.

The Newburyport Blog does try to analyze events in a meaningful way, and does try to be fair, and does try to do its best for its own version of “truthiness.” And, I’ve been around awhile, and do try and put events in context of what Newburyport, MA, as a city, has been through.

So 2 things. Local “traditional journalism” is vital to our democratic society (Please read Bill Moyers). Please support local newspapers. It is a really important thing to do.

And second of all, The Newburyport Blog is a “labor of love,” but it is still a “labor.”

And if you value The Newburyport Blog, please–ask not what The Newburyport Blog could do for you, but what you could do for The Newburyport Blog.

Mary Eaton