Since the beginning of time, civilizations have counted on the written word to document and communicate important information. The invention of the printing press in the 1400s made it possible to more easily disseminate information, and it opened a line of communication to the masses, making news accessible to all people - regardless of their economic status.
This delivery method for news and newspapers has been intact for thousands of years. It remains relevant and viable still today, as communities continue to have important stories that are worth sharing. Newspapers remain on the front lines, investigating and reporting those stories, as a stalwart cornerstone of your community.
Local newspapers, such as The Inter-Mountain, are living history books. They are able to document news as it happens. Whether that is through modern, instant platforms, such as our online and mobile formats, or through our traditional print editions, newspapers continue to champion fair, accurate, unbiased reporting that keeps citizens well-informed on all aspects of life. From the local level to state, national and world news, the scope of newspapers knows no limits.
Our readers have a front seat to government meetings. Our reporters keep these meetings open and politicians accountable for both the decisions they make and the way they make them. Without newspapers, there would be no spotlight in which these public servants would have to operate. There would be no outside system of checks and balances to monitor our three braches of government: legislative, judicial and executive.
The public would be left in the dark and uninformed. Instead, thanks to newspapers, our readers have access to knowledge. And, as the saying goes, knowledge is power.
As part of National Newspaper Week, which wraps up today, the Newspaper Association of America offered the following statistics.
n 101 million American adults read a newspaper in print or online every weekday.
n 56 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds read a newspaper in print or online in the past week.
n Nearly 7 in 10 adults read a newspaper in print or online in the past week.
n 79 percent of U.S. adults report they took action on a newspaper ad in the past 30 days.
We believe there is power in these numbers and value - economic and otherwise - in publications such as The Inter-Mountain. Starting Monday, as part of Endorsement Week, The Inter-Mountain will weigh in on races of key significance on the national, state and local level, beginning with the West Virginia gubernatorial candidates.
The power then shifts to voters, who will take the information we try to provide and then make their own, informed decision at the polls. Early voting will begin Oct. 22, and the general election is set for Nov. 6.
We are proud to play a role in helping this great system of democracy work. It takes all of us partnering to accomplish this common goal, as envisioned by this country's Founding Fathers. Thank you for inviting us into your homes and for allowing The Inter-Mountain to continue to serve you as your No. 1 source for local news.