‘Keep printing that paper’

If ever there was a time to think about the role of newspapers in your life, now is the time. Some of the most respected newsgathering organizations are being demonized as the “mainstream media” (a phrase usually pronounced with the same contemptful tone of voice people used to reserve for “supermarket tabloids”). The president of the United States has even suggested we and our fellow media are “the enemy of the people.”

Minnesota Newspaper Week came along at a pretty good time, then. Aug. 13-19 was declared Minnesota Newspaper Week by Gov. Mark Dayton, and 200 newspaper members of the Minnesota Newspaper Association have participated in a “whiteout” — printing a paper with the front page empty except for the question, “What if there were no newspapers?”

While The Journal has opted to keep printing news on our front pages, we would like to ask our readers to imagine what it would be like without us. We inform you of what’s happening in your government — state and national, of course, but also the city, county and school board decisions that affect you more immediately. We help you celebrate your successes, and mourn your losses and tragedies. We try to entertain and inspire. On our editorial page we advocate for improvements and measures to make this a better community. We also give you a chance to express your opinions in our letters column

We know you’d miss us if we went away. People often tell us, when they bring some news that they want to share, that, “We’ve been long time subscribers. Just keep printing that paper.”