Bill Tammeus is Past President of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and “Faith Matters” blogger for the Kansas City Star.
Newspapers provide a reliable sense of life’s rhythm. When delivery works right (almost always), newspapers arrive once a day and announce one more click in the move from past to present to future.
Newspapers serve as a reminder that we are part of a larger community and, thus, not isolated but in some sense responsible for what happens in that larger community. They tell us we are connected to our neighborhood, our city, our region, our world and that people all across those areas have common concerns, common fears, common hopes.
Newspapers help to provide a foundation of free expression on which our society is built and depends.
Newspapers remind citizens that they are responsible for the quality of governance.
Newspapers uphold the worth — dare I say sacred nature? — of the printed word and the capacity of words to inform, entertain, provoke, educate and cause change.
Newspapers serve to support the common good by reporting what is violating or working against that common good and what might be done to reverse that.