Who needs a journal? More people than ever during times of anxiety – Daily News


A special edition of the Daily News in the aftermath of the Northridge earthquake that struck Los Angeles on January 17, 1994 (Los Angeles Daily News file photo)

So how long have we been together now? Twenty, 30, more? I know it’s been a long time, and I want to thank you for your loyalty to me, your local newspaper.

The newspapers are soon celebrating 220 years in America – the first daily being Alexander Hamilton’s New York Post in 1801 – and we would never have succeeded without your support. You have carried on a great tradition.

When you needed to know what was going on in your community, you turned to me. When you needed a car, an apartment, or wanted to buy a house, you turned to me. When your kids won a sports championship or a spelling contest, I was there to cover it.

Every day rain or shine I’m out there in your driveway waiting for you to wake up I never took a day off or called in sick. Every now and then I might be late, but it’s not something I can control. I’ll be there for lunch.

I know many of you are reading me online these days, and I appreciate your continued support. You print readers always want the real thing in your hands, ink on paper.

Some people say I’m just an old habit you can’t break, but I think I’m more than that. Much more. I think I am as relevant today in your lives as the first day I was printed.

Let me tell you a story about the real power of the press. It was early in the morning, a few days after the Northridge earthquake, and one of my reporters was doing interviews on a residential street near the badly damaged Northridge Fashion Center.

He was talking to families who were still camping outside because they were afraid to sleep in their homes. They wanted to thank him. For what, asked the reporter? He did not do anything.

They said that in the morning after the earthquake, when the aftershocks were strong and every little shaking brought more panic, a car drove slowly down their street as the sun rose, and I came flying by. car window.

I had four pages, very thin with earthquake news, but it wasn’t what they needed. They were the news of the earthquake. What they needed, desperately wanted, was some sort of assurance that things were going to be okay, that life would be back to normal.

Seeing their local newspaper, as skinny as I was that day, still on delivery after 24 hours of chaos and utter destruction, gave it to them. I never felt more proud to be a newspaper than this morning.

Sometimes I wonder how the country survived all these years with just Walter Cronkite at night, and me in the morning? Not too bad, if I remember correctly. You had a lot more time for family dinners, playing with the kids, reading a good book and me. We weren’t in such a hurry.

I introduced you to some great people you would never have met and printed your letters to the editor so everyone can see what you had in mind. I gave you a voice that no one else could give you. I still do.

And, as sure as the sun comes up tomorrow, I’ll be right there in your driveway in the morning waiting for you to wake up, put on your bathrobe and come and get me.

On behalf of Alexander Hamilton and all American newspapers, thank you for your loyalty.

Dennis McCarthy’s column airs Sunday. He can be contacted at [email protected]


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