Tom Stangl

Because you are reading this column, you understand the value of your local newspaper. I think we can all agree on this point, gentle reader.

You aren’t here because you are one of my friends or family (hello, friends and family), you are here to keep your title as “the person who knows.”

You know who you are, the one who knows all about the controversy in local government. You know the scores of the games, you even know a great way to make a delicious patty melt that will blow your family’s mind. 

You enjoy having this power. You like the way you are treated when you enter into conversations with friends and family. They all know the score, if they have an argument, you can settle it better than the Google box, because you know the local nitty gritty. The Google box and the Tweeter don’t know, because they don’t know local.

You know local because you are connected. You know local because you read a newspaper.

It’s OK, your secret is safe with me. I know you, we talk here each week. I get you, you get me. We’re cool.

You, more than anyone else, appreciate National Newspaper Week. You understand that without your special connection of locally collected and curated news, you might be perceived as a little less cool, a little less wise.

You know the value of a newspaper to a functioning democracy. Heck, you even know the four other freedoms that are protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution.

I won’t tell anyone your source for being on the forefront of issues facing the community. You know the newspaper gives you a concise and complete look at the problems, opportunities and successes of the community.

You know the newspaper is often the only member of the public at meetings of government. In this role, the newspaper often advocates for the public’s right for access to information. You understand that the people’s business needs to be conducted in plain sight so you and everyone else can speak up when you see something that upsets you — before it’s too late.

You also know you have met many interesting people through the pages of the local newspaper. The newspaper also tells you about cool and interesting events all over the community that are coming up. It’s OK, no one besides us needs to know that you wouldn’t be as well read, well informed or well-travelled without the newspaper.

Explaining where you got those cool photos on your refrigerator or in the scrapbook about your children will just be easier if you tell people you get the local paper. Really, people won’t judge you when you come clean about subscribing to the paper.

You might be surprised when you learn others are newspaper readers as well. In fact, this common bond with other newspaper readers might even lead to some interesting conversations about current events. Who knows, with your common shared knowledge of local events, you might even be able to form a club, or at the very least a very interesting coffee klatch or wine party.

And I know you know this already, but I feel I need to say it — we really appreciate you.

As always, I welcome your comments. You can reach me by email at tstangl@theameryfreepress.com, telephone 715-268-8101 or write me at P.O. Box 424, Amery, WI, 54001.

Thanks for reading I’ll keep in touch. Feel free to do the same.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.