Community journalism matters now more than ever.
This is an ideal being celebrated and embraced by newspaper everywhere during National Newspaper Week this week.
There are countless reasons this is the case, but there's one that keeps me coming back to work every single day.
Community journalism matters now more than ever, because community matters now more than ever.
Lately, bad news, hate-filled news and heartbreaking news has filled front pages and news cycles. When things are dark, solace can be found in knowing you're not alone. Comfort can be found in community.
Today, and throughout history, we see people rally together for a cause. People know their voice, their message, is stronger when they all come together, when everyone stands as one. Change can be effected by community.
It the heart of everyone's hometown, you find the dreamers, the doers. You find people creating beauty around them. These people are not afraid to get their hands dirty for the sake of public art, music, poetry or dance because they know their neighbors need an outlet. They need a way to celebrate, mourn or explore the world around them. People need beauty and laughter. Communities breed creativity.
Community journalism matters because now, more than ever, people need community. They need to know what their city leaders are up to and how it impacts them. They need a reason to celebrate, like a win by their hometown team. They need the smiles that cute kid photos elicit. They need to see things from their neighbors' point of view. They need gentle reminders of important dates because life gets busy.
A community newspaper is a culmination of all those things. It is a celebration of the best part of a community.
And the reason each of us do this not-so-glamorous job? Because community matters to us. We want the community to see itself in the pages of their newspaper. To see familiar faces, names and landmarks.
To us, journalism maters because preserving a community matters.
Cydney Baron is the editor of the Claremore Daily Progress.