Letter to the Editor

Nothing beats printed newspaper

Jon Rust's recent column about the future of newspapers saddens me. I know he's right, but I've always really liked newspapers and hate to see them struggle. Since the 1600's, newspapers have kept us informed.

Mail brought us news for many years, then the telegraph brought it quicker. In the early 20th century radio was the standard for news, until television set a new standard. Now we have the electronic media, yet many of us still value and rely on newspapers.

As Mr. Rust pointed out, many newspapers have failed in recent years. But I believe most of the remaining ones, like the Southeast Missourian, provide local and regional news that is reliable and objective, and honestly, it's just not available anywhere else. And some, like the Washington Post and New York Times, still influence national thinking.

Newspapers have an important role in our society. Often, local issues don't get covered elsewhere, and more importantly, newspapers, especially the good ones, put opinion on the opinion page instead of weaving it throughout the news. And although they do carry advertising, it doesn't distract the way it does in radio and television.

Newspapers have stood the test of time. They've been threatened by other media at various times, but still compete favorably in many areas. And to me, nothing beats hard print. Yes, it's old fashioned, but you can control the commercials, you don't get malware, and you always have the funnies to turn to.

Gary L. Gaines, Cape Girardeau