No. 1245



In my new book, “The Best of Jim Davidson,” there is a brief paragraph that begins, “Fret not at small beginnings: the oak tree began as an acorn; the beautiful rainbow had its beginning as a drop of rain and a ray of light; the muscular athlete had trouble crawling; the university graduate started in the first grade; the massive international oil industry began with a small shallow well.”
The reason I share this allegory is to present a truth that affects every single citizen in our country. As you will soon see, this truth also presents a challenge like the story of David and Goliath in the Bible. However, if you know this story you know that David had something going for him that Goliath did not have. David had God on his side, and I claim that truth as well.
The story here is that our nation’s newspapers are in crisis, and this is the bottom line. The weekday print circulation in our nation has shrunk from a high of nearly 60 million in 1994 to 35 million for combined print and digital circulation today. As a result, the number of newspaper journalists has decreased from 43,000 in 1978 to 33,000 in 2015. Now it does not take a genius to figure out that, unless we reverse this trend, there will be a day in our country when there are no more newspapers. For me, and I hope for you, too, these are very sobering and tragic statistics, and we must take action. If you want more proof for what I am saying, just go to the Internet and check it out.
Now, you may ask why this is so important, as I can get the “news” from so many other sources. This is true, but that is not the end of the story. The major market newspapers are important but not as critical as community newspapers (small market dailies and weeklies) simply because there are so many more of them.
Here is why the local community newspaper is so important and even vital to our continued success and way of life. First, you get information from your local newspaper that you can’t get anywhere else, including obituaries, engagement and wedding announcements, stock market reports, local sporting events and scores, city council and quorum court news, syndicated and local columnists, team and conference standings, election reports and vote totals, and so much more.
In addition to these wonderful benefits, here is the main reason we cannot let our newspapers fail. These people serve as the community “watch-dog” and I don’t think I have to spell that out for you. What I would like to do, with God’s help and your help, is to begin a national campaign to save our newspapers, understanding what will happen if we don’t get involved and save them. Personally I prefer the printed page, as I love holding the paper in my hands while reading it. If your attitude is negative toward your local newspaper, please change it, continue your subscription and encourage members of your family, your neighbors and everyone you know to subscribe to your local newspaper.
When you consider the alternative, it is the best money you can ever spend, and when you consider that you have a “watch-dog” looking out for you and your interests, you will know that you are part of the solution and not part of the problem. Thank you so much my friend. America is the greatest country in the whole world and together we can meet the challenge of saving our community newspapers. To God be the Glory.
(Editor’s Note: JIM DAVIDSON is an author, public speaker, syndicated columnist and founder of the Bookcase for Every Child project. Since its inception in 1995, Jim’s column has been self-syndicated to over 375 newspapers in 35 states, making it one of the most successful in the history of American journalism.)