Opinion: Newspapers deserve your support

By David Marsden

More than 110 years ago, central Alberta residents began depending on the Red Deer Advocate for news of what was happening in their community.

Today’s central Albertans continue the tradition. They rely on their daily newspaper as a trusted source of information.

They choose to read the Advocate in print and online, and recognize us as the most trusted source of news and community information in the region.

To say that the newspaper industry has changed over the past century, and even the past five years, is an understatement.

Like most industries, newspapers have been challenged to adapt to our readers’ needs and wants. And like other businesses, we have risen to the challenge successfully, always keeping our readers at the heart of everything we do.

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Much of the information we receive today is shared through the internet. Anyone with internet access can influence and participate in public discussion.

It’s a great tool, of course, and has permitted the spread and exchange of ideas and images as never before.

But along with first-hand accounts of accidents or celebrations — sometimes referred to as citizen journalism — has come fake news.

The medium has become so influential, that it has attracted mischief makers, or worse, voices that deliberately mislead the public by spreading false information.

A compelling story, even when untrue, spreads like wildfire on the internet, attracting more and more viewers and misleading more and more people.

That is why the Advocate, as Canada marks National Newspaper Week, wants to acknowledge the importance of journalism, and local news writing, in particular.

If the public can’t count on knowing what is real news and what is made up, the very foundation of our democracy is at risk. A thriving society depends on well-informed citizens who are aware of the facts and equipped to make important public decisions.

The Advocate — and newspapers across the nation — are ensuring we remain relevant to today’s readers.

We are asking for your support to secure a future in which real news remains strong.

We want you to show your support for the Canadian news media industry, so that we can continue to tell the stories that matter to you most, and we can support charitable causes that need a light shed on their good works.

Newspapers matter. More than ever before. Become a subscriber, support our advertisers and pledge your support at www.newspapersmatter.ca.

David Marsden is managing editor of the Red Deer Advocate.

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