Letter to the Editor: Small-town newspapers connect the communities they serve

Dear editor:
Gotta say it.  I love small-town newspapers.  It’s just not right to think of Greybull without the Standard. And it’s not practical. The editor recently referred to the diminishing of area newspapers, and how the demand for them has changed. It didn’t paint a pretty picture for any of us.  
Small weekly papers can’t compete with Wall Street Journal, New York Times, European financial transactions, even statewide papers.  What local papers do best is fill the gaps and appreciate the “real news” in our own town.
A small-town paper highlights the sense of community that we need, to share life in a rural area.  A local newspaper can keep us connected.  An editor like Nathan Oster will do so, just as Bruce Kennedy did.  Let’s give the Standard a little encouragement.
I love the conveniences of the internet, but you see, the internet has no Heart. The internet doesn’t care if our schools succeed, or our old community hall, or our swimming pool, or the Days of ‘49 activities.  With the newspaper, we can follow sports, school news, the county commissioners, the town council, the library, various meeting schedules, without going to numerous websites.  Many of those sites aren’t even current! And I can’t always find the info when I need it.  
We’ve watched the consolidation of schools, medical facilities, numerous business facilities, meeting-places.  Without a local paper, we run the next risk of seeing our community “disappear” as we lose the opportunity to exchange and find factual information.
Newspapers use income from advertising and community/county official public notices.  Not all businesses advertise, but local businesses should.  Some do.  Some recognize the value offered within that phrase “I see by the paper…” It’s hard for small businesses to compete with chain stores and larger towns, but for sure, we need our local calendar, the local editorial page, and the reports and descriptions of community meetings and activities.
I suggest we support the Greybull Standard – by subscription and by advertising - and encourage them to offer local news, local advertising, and features focusing on local activities.  If we lose automotive supply places, the drugstore, and restaurants and other businesses, as they, too, become smaller and smaller, we’ll take our grocery store business to Cody or Worland or Billings and we’ll eat lunch while we’re there, and go to the dentist or the hairdresser, and we’ll order from Amazon.  Come on, Greybull.  Step up.  
Maybe it all starts with the newspaper.

Mary Flitner
Shell

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