For as long ago as I can remember, I have loved the newspaper. Long before I had the option of a printed daily over my iPhone, I was opting for the front section of the Ottawa Citizen over Saved by the Bell reruns.
Growing up, reading and discussing stories from the local and national paper was daily practice in my house around the breakfast table. This routine provided an understanding of the issues people cared about in my stereotypical suburban neighbourhood (read: timely snow removal), but more importantly prompted me to be interested about the city, country and world around me.
My unwavering love for the newspaper has followed me as I have been fortunate to study, work and travel across Canada, many different countries, and now Australia. For me, a city’s local paper provides a great sense of the mood of a place that no travel guide or website can. Reading the local paper is like wandering the streets of a new city without a map; it’s an amazing way to get an authentic understanding of a place.
The local paper has always provided me a cultural crash course for whatever new place I have found myself in.
As newspapers, particularly local papers, suffer an inevitable decline in circulation with increased digital offerings, I make a point as a news consumer and as someone working in public relations to remember the important role that local press plays. Community papers make a difference in the lives of individuals in local communities in a way that no other media can because members of the community are the ones generating and writing about where they live; it produces an immense amount of local pride.
While digital media offerings may be quick and interactive, nothing will ever quite match the joy of flipping through a printed edition over breakfast.
The local newspaper remains the best conversation starter and travel guide, and thanks to that my feelings are steadfast.
Written by Kate Parson, Account Coordinator – Ogilvy Public Relations Health