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September 20, 2017

8/16/2017 9:32:00 AM
A world without newspapers? Not a good idea
If you were even the least bit startled by our front page, good!
The only thing more alarming would have been sending out an entire blank newspaper - no news, no photos, no ads.
Now, think about that.
You go to your mailbox, or to your local store, or to the Citizen to pick up the latest edition, "hot off the press," and you find . . . nothing. You see a blank front page and you quickly flip it over to the back page. Nothing. You begin to thumb through each page, maybe thinking there's a trick here and you're going to be the one that finds the lone word or even letter. But nothing - notta, zip, zilch -a big, fat white.
Scary thought.
Imagine a world without newspapers. I don't want to and not only because I'm in the newspaper business. I don't want to think of a world without newspapers because it would mean one less reliable source for your daily or weekly news.
Think about this: Newspapers can devote more space and time to an issue. It can tell a more complete story than TV or radio news. Even the longest TV news story typically doesn't last more than a couple minutes. Anything longer and the viewer is inclined to flip the channel or walk away.
Now, you could say the same thing about a lengthy story in a newspaper. However, the complete story is there, if the reader wants it. Certainly, the reader can start to read the long story and leave it if he so desires, but he doesn't have that option with a TV news story. In two minutes, he only gets the nuts and bolts - maybe less.
Well, you could go online and find more information about the story. Good point. But in this day and age, can you trust what you're reading on the Internet? You may have a very reputable source for your news, but not all news sources are so reputable.
One other valuable service newspapers provide, as noted in the "page 2" story in this edition, is that newspapers provide a written document of history. That is never more critical than for a small community and county like Windom and Cottonwood County. Newspapers document history for eternity.
Hard copies of the Citizen, dating all the way back to the late 1800s are stored at the Cottonwood County Historical Society. If you wanted to see an actual story, or an obituary of a long lost descendant, there is a bound copy of the Citizen or a microfilm of the issue that carried that particular news story.
Indeed, as the page 2 story notes, newspapers are the first draft of local history.
There may come a day - I don't believe in my lifetime - when a hard copy of news will be no longer. That, to me, will be a sad day. There's nothing quite like handling a newspaper to read about John Q. Public down the street who is doing something unique, or Suzy J. Smith, formerly of Jeffers, who is doing something to benefit mankind.
A world without newspapers? No thanks. I want the whole story - and I hope to continue to provide local readers with that story for a few more years.
Tennis news
Gotcha. I'll bet you thought you were going to read about movement on the tennis courts that were removed for the Emergency Services Building and are going to be constructed elsewhere in Windom.
Sorry, I have no news, other than to tell you I haven't forgotten about the courts. I hope you haven't either. There's still $180,000 set aside for the construction of new courts and now, as we head into fall, some tennis aficionados should be putting their heads together right now, deciding on a site and bringing it to the city administrator or the park and rec board.
That would get the ball rolling and construction could begin next spring.
Tennis, anyone? Not yet.

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