With the passing of each day, the world loses more and more World War II veterans and their stories of heroism and valor are slowly being lost as well. Likewise, the journalists who reported their stories are being lost through retirement and normal attrition. Declining readership is accelerating the closing of local newspapers throughout America. How we socially and politically communicate is dramatically changing. The younger generation simply does not read or depend upon the daily newspaper for local, national and worldly information. The Internet, Twitter, Facebook, and texting are their means of passing information to one another. The written word is constantly being hyphenated in order to speed up an idea, fact, or proclamation about an issue.
As the older generation slowly dies off and readership of newspapers wane, I suspect it will only accelerate the complete collapse of the daily newspaper as a means of mass communication. How sad when that day comes. For had it not been for investigative reporters like Woodward and Bernstein of the Washington Post, the story behind President Nixon's little band of burglars assigned to break into the Watergate Hotel and ransack the Democratic Headquarters would have never been discovered. History would have been dramatically altered.
A recent editorial article written in The Park Record endorsing Democrat Donna McAleer for the 1st Congressional District not only expounded upon her qualified background, but at the same time exposed the ten-year voting record of Republican Representative Rob Bishop. He has gone on record as opposing health care to people with pre-existing medical conditions; voted against extending the payroll tax deduction; is against the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act guaranteeing women and minorities equal pay for equal work; is against the Dream Act that would have helped children of undocumented parents apply for in-state college tuition discounts, and consistently voted for oil and mining interests and against environmental regulations protecting our virgin lands. Who would have known this if it had not been for a journalist investigating the congressional records on behalf of the people!
In the near future, who will investigate and objectively evaluate the efforts of legislators? Who will inform the people of acts by unscrupulous politicians? Who will investigate truth from untruth; the informed and uninformed; the needs of the poor and middle class? I can guarantee you, it will not be the Tweeter generation!
The free press is the primary counter to the wealthy financial supporters who illustrate the winners from the losers in election outcomes. As long as we have newspaper owners, editors, and reporters who are willing to take risks like the Washington Post did in the early 1970s, and who are willing to tell the truth about issues that are contrary to pressures from government and corporations, there is hope for all of us who live in a democratic society. So keep on buying the "newspaper;" it is the last best vestige of distinguishing fact from fiction. The moment of truth is upon us!