After a century of private ownership, a newspaper providing northeastern Pennsylvania a daily window upon the complexity of the world and the many vistas of its equally complex local region has been …
After a century of private ownership, a newspaper providing northeastern Pennsylvania a daily window upon the complexity of the world and the many vistas of its equally complex local region has been sold to a large media company owned by an investment fund.
What will this mean for The Scranton Times Tribune and its readership?
The sale will connect the paper with other dailies, including the esteemed Boston Herald.
With all the changes in the media environment, newspapers have had significant challenges and are struggling to adapt. Many have failed and no longer exist.
This sale may ultimately make it possible for the Times to not only survive but to thrive.
In an era where breaking news comes into electronic devices as it happens, many newspapers are questioning what content they can offer that preserves their mission to inform the public in a timely and responsive manner while broadening what is currently available through so many other sources.
Although the “media” have been under public attack from many directions—including almost daily vilification by our 45th president—newspapers, particularly regional ones like The Scranton Times Tribune and the River Reporter, are vital.
The staff is local, often longtime residents of the area they cover. Such publications are vested in the well-being of their readership. And, through responsible offerings of global, national news and frontline local reporting, these papers and others like them are bastions against the assault on truth.
Because there is in fact Truth. Truth is based on facts substantiated by responsible research, unbiased reporting and editing.
A respectable newspaper has an editorial page that allows commentary from multiple views with columns and letters to the editor where truth as it relates to facts is expressed as a personal perspective.
But facts are facts. And a great newspaper, no matter how large or small, cleaves to this creed.
There’s no question that this is a mighty undertaking in our times, when what is factual and what is false is whirling around like a category nine tornado tearing at our core beliefs.
But journalism and the newspapers that respect the highest ideals of service to be a conduit to inform and engage the public are vital to the preservation of all that is great and possible when that public is fully and responsibly informed.
As The Scranton Times Tribune moves into a new era, it remains to be seen whether corporate ownership by outsiders will respect and in fact empower its life-long mission.
What can readers do to ensure the survival of print journalism? Well, actually reading regularly is a good start.
And buying papers either at the local newsstands or getting an online subscription— which costs less than a couple cups of coffee a day from Starbucks.
Read locally; act globally.
Cynthia Nash is a writer and community activist. Her two most recent guest columns published in The Scranton Times Tribune can be read online.
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