In recent years, there has been another reason to share the observance with readers: the mistaken notion that newspapers are a dying industry. That is certainly not the case with community newspapers, and "In the interest of balance and fairness, how about we tell the other side of the story," asks Tom Larimer, executive director of the Arkansas Press Association, in his column in this week's Arkansas Publisher.
Tom and his fellow Newspaper Association Managers (the name of their group) coordinate the observance each year and make a promotional kit available for newspapers to use. "You could add to these an historical timeline of your local newspaper, when it was founded, who founded it and historical high points for the newspaper," Tom writes. "Run some old photos that involve the newspaper in your NNW observance. Some local newspapers once sponsored the local community band. I’ve seen some great photos of these bands posed up in front of the newspaper office. This is great stuff because it helps drive home the theme, that the local newspaper is the cornerstone of any community. In so many cases the newspaper is the oldest continually operating business in town. If that’s the case, say so in a feature. You could decorate your office with some old copies of the newspaper and invite the community to stop by and have a look. Keep the coffee pot on and put out a tray of cookies. Everybody likes that, and these types of events further connect the newspaper to the community." For the promotional kit, click here.