It’s National Newspaper Week, and our theme this year is “The Power of the Press.”
Even though there are many ways to get news now, the power of newspaper media is still significant. And important.
We all have smartphones, tablets and computers. And they deliver news.
But that news isn’t always true.
Just last week, a Facebook hoax went viral that caused thousands of people to share information that simply was not true.
Likewise, several weeks ago, an app on my iPhone told me Willie Nelson was dead. I believed it for about 15 minutes. Then I started seeing notices saying this was a completely false report from a fake news site.
Willie is alive and well. I actually have tickets to his show in Florence next week.
These are just two examples of the real power of newspaper media — credibility.
Newspapers are by far the most reliable source of news, both in print and digitally.
They have professional reporters and editors who work hard to see that what they print and post online through their websites and social media accounts is accurate.
But newspapers offer much more than credibility.
Newspapers are the most effective media watchdog — protecting the public’s right to know what their government is doing at the local, state and national levels.
A South Carolina newspaper, The Post and Courier of Charleston, recently won a Pulitzer Prize for an important series about violence against women in our state. It took an amazing amount of research, interviewing and in-depth reporting to bring this serious issue to light.
Thanks to the newspaper’s reporting, our legislature voted to toughen South Carolina’s criminal domestic violence laws.
South Carolina newspapers — large and small — report on these types of major issues every day.
From a school superintendent getting a huge buyout to a police shooting involving an unarmed man, newspapers deliver the news that matters to you.
And newspapers remain a proven go-to media for advertisers who want to see their cash registers ring. In this digital age, the newspaper audience has never been greater, with millions of South Carolinians reading newspaper media in print, online or via mobile devices each week.
The fact is that newspaper media — whether read in print or on a screen — is a powerful tool for the Palmetto State’s communities. South Carolina’s 108 newspapers strive to inform, entertain and connect readers around the clock.
And they’re always finding new ways to serve you, the reader, because you rely on the Power of the Press.
Bill Rogers is executive director of the South Carolina Press Association, which represents 16 daily and 92 weekly newspapers in South Carolina, including The Cheraw Chronicle.