Happy National Newspaper Week to our readers, and to us

Play Gloria!

Happy+National+Newspaper+Week++to+our+readers%2C+and+to+us

By Gloria Lloyd, News Editor

This has been a trying year for every local business, including a local community newspaper like the St. Louis Call. Although readership is up, advertising revenues are down due to the pandemic and stay-at-home orders. But this week we celebrate National Newspaper Week, acknowledging what we’ve overcome to continue to serve our readers.

In the last decade, thousands of treasured local newspapers have gone out of business. South Countians have seen this as the Journals, the Patch and the Times have ceased.

But The Call is still fighting for you and covering your governments and local schools. We have always been the only local newspaper that covers city budgets, tax rates, bond issues and elections in South County. Now we’re the only one at all.

A major 2019 media study found: “As local journalism declines, government officials conduct themselves with less integrity, efficiency, and effectiveness, and corporate malfeasance goes unchecked. With the loss of local news, citizens are: less likely to vote, less politically informed, and less likely to run for office.”

Who wants to live in a world like that, with just Facebook posts to get your news? Every day, we see local readers asking public officials questions on Facebook that they would never get answered if we weren’t there to ask for them.

A crowd of journalists used to cover the Mehlville Board of Education — the Post-Dispatch, the Journal and more regularly joined us covering meetings. Now we are the only journalists covering the Mehlville and Lindbergh school boards. It’s the same in all the cities and fire districts that serve our readers. We’re often one of the only members of the public in attendance at critical meetings such as the one where the Mehlville school board voted to start the school year all-virtual.

Where will you as a taxpayer or a parent turn when you no longer have independent coverage of what the local school districts and cities do?

If you don’t want to find out, you can make a tax-deductible donation to The Call’s education coverage through the Local Media Association, withdonations processed by Facebook: www.callnewspapers.com/donate.

We’re back publishing weekly, and to receive every issue, you will have to subscribe for $20.20 for a year at www.callnewspapers.com/subscribe.

Happy National Newspaper Week to you, our readers.