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Cecil Whig - - OPINION -

This year marks the 76th an­niver­sary of Na­tional News­pa­per Week, be­ing cel­e­brated in news­rooms through­out the coun­try Oct. 2-8 with the theme “Way to Know.” The Ce­cil Whig is proud to par­tic­i­pate as the news­pa­per of record for res­i­dents here for the last 175 years.

The Whig was founded on Aug. 7, 1841, by Palmer Cham­ber­lain Rick­etts to cir­cu­late the Whig po­lit­i­cal party beliefs, pub­lish­ing weekly from Rick­ett’s log cabin near the in­ter­sec­tion of Main and Bow streets in Elkton. Over the decades, more than a dozen peo­ple have over­seen the Whig’s di­rec­tion, each leav­ing their mark on a news­pa­per that in­creased in read­er­ship and in­flu­ence. To­day, the Whig is part of APG Me­dia of Ch­e­sa­peake, with sis­ter pub­li­ca­tions that in­clude the The Star Demo­crat, the Kent County News and the Ne­wark Post.

We at the Whig and APG Me­dia of Ch­e­sa­peake take pride in our work. We be­lieve that lo­cal news­pa­pers pro­vide an im­por­tant ser­vice through the con­veyance of in­for­ma­tion regarding is­sues both large and small. Re­port­ing on trap-neuter-re­lease ef­forts or agri­cul­tural zon­ing or school rain gar­dens may not be glam­orous, but it mat­ters to the com­mu­ni­ties which are af­fected by such is­sues.

We strive to do more than re­port on gov­ern­ment ac­tiv­ity. We want to tell your sto­ries. We want to fea­ture un­sung lo­cal heroes, ex­plore com­mu­nity is­sues, high­light our young ath­letes and doc­u­ment what life is like here in Ce­cil County.

The news­pa­per in­dus­try has changed dra­mat­i­cally, but it is not on life sup­port as some would have you be­lieve. For Na­tional News­pa­per Week, David Chav­ern, pres­i­dent of the News Me­dia Al­liance, penned an op-ed ti­tled “De­bunk­ing the news­pa­pers are dy­ing myth.” Chav­ern wrote that there is a greater de­mand for news than ever be­fore. He wrote that while the word “news­pa­per” is not re­flec­tive of the in­dus­try it de­notes, it does not mean such me­dia out­lets have been rel­e­gated to the dust­bin.

“Name an in­dus­try — cars, air­lines, en­ergy, re­tail, ac­count­ing, trans­porta­tion, con­struc­tion — and the un­der­ly­ing eco­nomic driv­ers look a lot dif­fer­ent than they did in the 1980s. That doesn’t mean they are ‘dead’ busi­nesses,” Chav­ern wrote. “We need to fo­cus on new ways to ad­dress the needs of au­di­ence. Legacy news­pa­pers are con­sid­ered trusted sources of in­for­ma­tion; we must con­tinue to keep that trust as we ex­per­i­ment in the dig­i­tal age.”

That ex­per­i­men­ta­tion has made the Whig and its sis­ter pub­li­ca­tions stronger. We up­graded our tech­nol­ogy and launched new web­sites. While we pub­lish a print edi­tion three times a week, we keep our web­site up­dated daily. We’ve added a so­cial me­dia pres­ence where readers can in­ter­act with the news and make sug­ges­tions for our cov­er­age. We added videos and cre­ated ex­panded photo gal­leries fea­tur­ing our thou­sands of readers.

Gene Policin­ski, chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer of the New­seum In­sti­tute, penned a Na­tional News­pa­per Week op-ed ti­tled “Power of the press is in be­ing the Way to Know for news con­sumers.” He wrote about the im­por­tance of main­tain­ing cred­i­bil­ity in the dig­i­tal age, en­sur­ing re­porters main­tain seats “where daily de­ci­sions are made and so­cial is­sues dis­cussed — from City Hall to church pews.”

“Newsprint may not be the medium-of-choice to­day for many readers, and per­haps cer­tainly not the one for the de­sired next gen­er­a­tion of readers. But the news or­ga­ni­za­tions be­hind what cer­tainly will be a blend of printed and elec­tronic pages must be again the medi­um­sof-choice for that group, whether they be thought-lead­ers in so­ci­ety, of­fice­hold­ers in gov­ern­ment or vot­ers,” Policin­ski wrote.

De­spite all the changes in the in­dus­try in re­cent years, we con­tinue to be your news­pa­per. We are based in Ce­cil County. We write about Ce­cil County. Most im­por­tantly, ev­ery­one here at the news­pa­per cares about Ce­cil County and its res­i­dents. It is why we do what we do.

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