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Originally published: 2013-03-28 09:18:40
Last modified: 2013-03-28 09:18:40

Our View: Your newspaper matters, and these are reasons why

From the mouths of babes -- well, maybe not babes, but certainly some of younger readers -- comes added confirmation: Your local newspaper matters.

It was no surprise to Watauga Democrat editors when we recently received dozens of entries from students ages 6 to 14 for our essay contest, "What your local newspaper means to me." After all, on the line were tickets to the internationally acclaimed Harlem Globetrotters and a considerable souvenir prize package -- including the opportunity to meet personally with a Globetrotter.

But while we weren't surprised, we were more than pleased at the quality of the responses -- so pleased that we expanded our initial offer of naming only two winners to naming seven. And so pleased that we published all seven essays in the March 24 Watauga Democrat ("Winners are").

The good news is that children and teenagers today are reading the news that matters to them -- the news from their local communities. At a young age, these students have learned that their newspaper is their trusted source of information, as a few samples from their essays attest:

"The Watauga Democrat is an important part of the community. It allows people to be interlinked by the community's problems, news and special events."

"How many times do you hear about ASU on Sports Center? Never, right? With the Watauga Democrat sports pages you can read about ASU and even read about local middle schools."

"I have seen actual clippings of when my parents were engaged to be married, my sister born in the blizzard of 1993 and grandparents remembered after they had passed away."

"After reading a few articles on how someone gained recognition over something special they did, I can feel a sense of self-pride. I allow myself this moment because it shows not only do I have an active community, but an intelligent newspaper to describe it to me."

"We live in a world that is constantly changing, and without some knowledge of the changes, we would be lost. The people at the Watauga Democrat work each and every day to try and shed a little light on our community."

From shedding light to ensuring that an engagement announcement is correctly reported, your local newspaper matters -- and we embrace a new generation of readers who will bring those matters into the future.