You there, sitting with your coffee, or beer, at your kitchen table, or maybe on the lanai, reading your local community newspaper – Thank You!
The health of this local newspaper and its ability to provide you with reliable local news stories depends on YOU. Without readers, newspapers cannot sell advertising. Without advertising, newspapers die.
Not that long ago, in the pre-Internet world, there were three ways to learn what was happening in the world around you: radio, television and newspapers. Newspapers were published in the morning or afternoon, sometimes both. They had dozens of pages of news covering national, international, state and local news, sports, business, real estate, opinion, arts and a variety of home-related topics. It took a good hour to get through the paper, and that was on a weekday. People often watched the news on TV AND read the paper for the details.
In the past decade, the news business has been turned upside down. Virtually everyone has the Internet in their pocket now. Who has time to read a newspaper when there’s Facebook? You do, because it’s important to get the full story rather than a snippet of a soundbite.
For most, after a lifetime of not even considering if what they read in the newspaper or heard on television or radio news was accurate, the switch to Internet news brought the need to vet the source of the news they were reading. Anybody can put “news” on the Internet. They make it short with a catchy headline, without too much detail, and people eat it up. It’s scary how many people rely on social media for all their news.
Most importantly, Internet news is overwhelmingly skewed toward international and national news. You may pick up some Florida news, but it will most likely involve a gator, python or a naked guy with a machete. Good luck finding any truly local news.
News source A claims that all other sources are lying. Source B hides their ownership so readers can’t determine if it’s a fair news source or not. Source C finds that by spinning the news a specific way, they get more advertisers, so they spin harder.
There is so much spin out there, that you really need to have at least four national news sources. Anyone who gets all their news from one source is guaranteed biased. Compare how those sources cover the same event. It’s an eye-opener.
We publish a free community newspaper and a website, yet we personally subscribe to the local daily and pay for Internet subscriptions to 4 other news sources, most of them newspapers, some television based. We believe reliable news is produced by reliable journalists. We believe a story prepared by a skilled journalist that is vetted by other journalists and editors is going to be more accurate than something put together from a variety of skewed sources and vetted by no one, as much Internet news is these days.
Know what’s going on in the world around you, read reliable news from reliable newspapers like us. On our website you’ll find full stories, just as if you were reading the paper. Find our website at fortmyersbeach.news.
Support your local newspaper!
Bob and Missy Layfield
Island Sand Paper owners