Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Ogdensburg Journal dies. Whittling away at rural America

Often the question arises; when is the actual moment of death?  Is it when all brain activity ceases or when the heart stops beating?

Without delving into the legal definitions I like to think death occurs when the heart is silent; stops beating.  To be sure there is a short segment of time that intervention may re-start a non-beating heart, but that time is infinitesimally short; minutes.

The heart as a descriptive word doesn’t always refer to the organ which pumps blood.  It is also used to express when something is central to the life of a community or an organization.

I’ve always thought that a local newspaper is the heart of a community.  It represents the matrix, from birth to death,  through which every aspect of a community flows; from the political to the athletic, cultural, and economic happenings.  Each member of a community will find some topic of interest in their daily newspaper.  From the kids whose interest lay on the comics page and later on the sports pages to their parents interest in the editorials and letters to the editor which expose the feelings of the community at large about topics far ranging that affect our lives.  Businesses rely on newspaper advertising to get their message out; what’s for sale and what’s on sale.  World events and politics splashed across the front pages to keep us informed of life beyond our region.  Last but certainly not least was the obit page.  Maybe it was the most important page for the older, aging members of the readership, as well as an invaluable resource for those doing genealogical research.

I still have the clipping my mother saved of my birth announcement.

The death knell is tolling for our local “Ogdensburg Journal.”  The heart of our community is being laid to rest.  Of course there will be other avenues to bring us “news,” school activities, political discourse, advertising and opinion.  But nothing will take the place of our newspaper.

The death of a parent or child can never be replaced by well meaning, caring friends and relatives.  And nothing will replace The Journal!

I remember when in 2014 the Journal announced it was transitioning to a Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday publication.  I heard the death knell beginning then and wrote the following piece to mark the announcement;

It’s pleasant to look back and remember the wonderful pleasures brought to our doorstep every day in the form of our daily newspaper.  And while you are remembering note this; just as my grandchildren do not remember my parents, your grandchildren will have no fond memories of a local newspaper and how it tied a community together.


Post a Comment

<< Home