Freedom to think looms large; It’s National Newspaper Week

by Echo publisher Anne Swenson

With National Newspaper Week approaching - October 1-7, these are my relevant thoughts to note:
When you grow up with newspapers at home, you become aware of policies and attitudes.
When you grow up with a father who was a Republican and a mother who was a Democrat, you grow up with two newspapers coming into the house: Chicago Tribune for Dad, Chicago Daily News for Mom.
To do so in the ’40s and ’50s ensured that I could read and hear two sides and gain some insight into why, no matter what, one or the other side was not always right or wrong.

Nowadays television news channels can be used in much the same way. Some excel in local and national news better than others to keep one aware of events. Switching channels helps to gain varying perspectives and understanding.
Current issues, both national and local are much the same. If one thinks through any issue and allows reason to seep in beyond the rhetoric, the results can be surprising.

For instance, history recognized the impact certain leaders had and artwork was placed to acknowledge that. No sense in denying history. You can’t change it by destroying the artwork.You may be able to draw attention to injustices and create thoughtful dialogue with the artwork in place.

Someone will object to any thing if only for the opportunity to make themselves noticed. Forgetting that if you take away someone else’s inalienable right you are jeopardizing your own freedom.

Whether it’s bending a knee, or ranting in a letter to the editor, people have the right to make their opinions known. That freedom of expression is inalienable in America.

The Echo office has been busy with staff members stretched to multiple assignments, meetings and volunteer duties.

I’ve found that there is no time for entering newspaper association contests and there are valid reasons not to do so. To enter these contests is time consuming, each one has a financial cost for entry, and the results of the judging may be done, not by professional journalists or photographers, but by anyone in an office with time on their hands.
There may be an assumption by the public that continuously newspapers are being examined and chosen by outsiders for recognition, but that just isn’t true.

Here’s another thing to consider. When a newspaper provides space in its publications for photos and information, it is in effect serving as a “sponsor” of the event. There are many costs to doing so - time and layout, printing, postage, etc.
Sometimes we are asked to include the names of businesses as sponsors of events. We call that naming “advertising.” That is how those businesses also consider the connection. To provide the space to acknowledge donors and sponsors, event coordinators need to purchase an ad and include those therein. That should be part of the budgeting for any event.
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In the Ely Echo newspaper of September 30, 1977, the headlines were:
• New state bank to open in Ely next May
• Moose season opens with 13 bangs;
• Garbage system delays over, should be operational October 1;
• Forest Service, outfitters review permit system;
• Council questions new “lake” situation.