The Chickasaw Journal office, which is located at 225 East Madison St. in Houston.

This is National Newspaper Week.

The 80th annual event, celebrated Oct. 4-10, recognizes the service of newspapers and their employees across North America. It’s sponsored by Newspaper Association Managers.

In the pages of this newspaper, in one issue or another – or on the Internet at https://www.djournal.com/chickasaw/news/ -- you’ll find information about everything from bond issues, rezoning, street repairs, who’s been arrested, convicted, sentenced, elections, who’s made the world better for passing this way.

And discussion of it all on the opinion page, and community feedback from letters to the editor. Newspapers are important as an exchange for political and social thought. Don’t believe it? – read the opinions, columns, and letters to the editor -- or better yet, write one.

Local coffee shops, after-church lunches, public forums all discuss some of these things. But there’s really only one place to get all of it – and that’s your local newspaper.

Sometimes, that’s easy to forget. Readers get wrapped up in the other benefits of a newspaper – weddings, births, graduations, military service, deaths, local sports, recipes, church services, community events, the latest sales.

That adds up to a lot of local history in the making. People use the newspaper to research local genealogy, relive local history, and to see special moments in their past as well as that of other people.

As a result, sometimes readers tend to overlook one of the most important roles of a local newspaper – to serve as a Town Hall meeting, where the latest news of government, schools and other issues in the community, is laid out for all to see.

Providing that Town Hall is something we take seriously. We have to. There is no other avenue that provides such varied opportunities on a regular basis for everyone in the community to learn what’s going on, and to participate if they wish.

Public forums and community meetings are good for those who attend and speak up. Radio and TV are limited by airtime. This newspaper is the community’s Town Hall.

We appreciate that privilege. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Ever since Ben Franklin published one of the first newspapers in the U. S., newspapers – whether the print or on-line version -- continue to be just as important to Americans as they were in those early days.

They’re still the most trusted means of conveying accurate, current information. In printed versions, they have a reference value that can extend to decades.

In most cases, the local newspaper is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, business in the community it serves.

In our case, that adds up to almost 115 years of keeping up with what’s going on.

In short, newspapers – whether print or electronic versions -- are a hard habit to break.

We’re glad of it, and we promise to do all we can to keep you coming back for more.

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