Wednesday, January 24th, 2018

Editorial: A tradition of knowing all the news

This is National Newspaper Week across America, and like all good members of our industry, the Enterprise always joins in with the celebration. But this year, as we looked at the material designed to help promote our craft, the editorial cartoon shown with this column, struck home.john_darkow_bw

That image of a child sitting in her father’s lap could have been any number of days at my own home growing up. It was a Sunday tradition for my brother and I to sit in Dad’s lap as he read us the Sunday funnies. And it was very often that he would tell us about some article or other that was in the Amarillo paper or in what would one day become my own paper.

Never did I imagine at the time, that someday I would be responsible for publishing the news in Donley County.  But the one thing that was constant up until the day he died, was the image of Dad sitting down with the paper and reading it from cover to cover.

My father was always extremely well versed in the issues of the day, because he thrived on a steady dose of news. He watched the nightly news, but his best source was the regional daily paper and this newspaper.

Roger Estlack, Editor

Roger Estlack, Editor

I’m sure it was something he picked up from his father. It’s hard not to get that habit in a newspaper family, and my grandfather had grown up in the print shop of the Donley County Leader. He, too, took the Amarillo paper daily, and even had the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram delivered… mainly for reprints of Will Rogers’ columns, I think.

Much has changed since the time of my father and grandfather, but people’s thirst – and need – for news remains the same. We deliver it in many forms now… on the web, by email, through social media, and, of course, still through print. But our committment as a newspaper remains unchanged… to bring you the best, most accurate coverage of your community and to inform you of the critical issues that you need to know to be an informed citizen.

One wonders what the future will hold for this tradition of the news. My own children are having a very different upbringing with the newspaper… one that is more hands-on in producing the news as opposed to my upbringing of just consuming the news. And yet, I believe that they will have just as much – or more – appreciation for the value of what we do here and of what other journalists do throughout this great country of ours.

The newspaper is an important part of America. It has long been a cornerstone of our society, and even though our industry may be going through some changes technologically, the core mission and the need for that mission is as clear today as when our Founding Fathers penned the Bill of Rights.

My challenge to you, as parents and grandparents, is to share the news with your kids and grandkids. Take them away from the distractions of the day, and talk with them about the events of the week. Above all, remind them of the importance of learning about their world of being informed.

It’s a tradition worth passing down to the next generation.

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