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The Pilot - - EDITORIAL -

As a news­pa­per reporter, Mark Twain spoke from ex­pe­ri­ence. He rel­ished his role in the in­dus­try, but didn’t mind pok­ing the Fourth Es­tate with his sharp wit ei­ther, when so in­clined. Times change. It wasn’t so long ago that hawk­ers on street cor­ners hol­ler­ing out head­lines to at­tract read­ers was what passed for so­cial media.

In a world where change is of­ten the only con­stant and in­for­ma­tion trav­els at light speed, such prac­tices seem like an­cient his­tory.

There have never been more sources for in­for­ma­tion, nor as many ways for that in­for­ma­tion to be passed along.

Some peo­ple won­der where the news­pa­per fits in, or even if it does.

That’s why Na­tional News­pa­per Week is a good time to take stock of to­day and the fu­ture.

Don’t let any­one tell you news­pa­pers are go­ing away. They are sim­ply evolv­ing.

Some have fallen; oth­ers will. That’s the busi­ness, like any other. But those that re­main and are able to em­brace chal­lenge, learn from ex­pe­ri­ence - fail­ures, as well as suc­cesses - will find their place and main­tain it.

Tech­nol­ogy has changed the media land­scape enor­mously, whether you live in a sparse com­mu­nity of 200, or a me­trop­o­lis of two mil­lion. In At­lantic Canada, there’s ob­vi­ously much more of the for­mer. In some ways, this re­gion was slower than oth­ers to set aside tra­di­tion and sur­ren­der to the lure of tech­nol­ogy. Peo­ple wel­come the news­pa­per de­liv­ered to their door each morn­ing.

There have never been as many ways for news­pa­pers to reach their au­di­ence. And com­pared to other media, the ad­just­ments they’ve made to chang­ing times have been mon­u­men­tal.

News­pa­pers con­tinue to re­cruit, train and de­velop ta­lented news-gath­er­ers and equip them with the tools for the job.

And the fun­da­men­tal man­date of the news­pa­per re­mains the same. Among other things, news­pa­pers should be ac­ces­si­ble, pub­lished reg­u­larly, as up to date as pos­si­ble and wide-rang­ing in the scope of their cov­er­age.

Per­haps most im­por­tant, they should re­flect the com­mu­ni­ties they cover.

Lit­tle has changed in their rai­son d’être, other than the im­me­di­acy with which in­for­ma­tion can be con­veyed in a 24/7 news cy­cle.

There’s also In­ter­na­tional Car­rier Ap­pre­ci­a­tion Day. These are peo­ple - many of them chil­dren - ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a first ven­ture into the work­ing world who bring a world of in­for­ma­tion to your doorstep. Con­sider tak­ing a mo­ment to thank them for the im­por­tant role they play in a long­stand­ing tra­di­tion.

Let’s all be thank­ful that we live in times when the news comes to us in ways that, just a few decades ago, would have seemed unimag­in­able.

“The old saw says, ‘Let sleep­ing dogs lie.’ Right. Still, when there is much at stake it is bet­ter to get a news­pa­per to do it.”

— Mark Twain

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