A newspaper’s unique vitamin C6


By Peter Wagner - Guest Columnist

A daily dose of vitamin C is strongly thought to keep the human body healthy and functioning. The regular dose of a local publication’s unique vitamin C – actually six key services with names starting with the letter C – help keep a town or region healthy, in balance and functioning.


Just a few months after I began dating my wife, Connie, her father gave me a bottle of Rexall Vitamin C tablets.

He’d religiously taken one every day for years, he told me, and those little orange pills had kept him healthy and robust when others working in the outdoor construction business were falling ill around him.

I wasn’t sure the pills would really make a difference for me but I wanted to please my future father-in-law. Accepting the gift seemed like the wisest thing to do. After all, I wanted him to allow me to marry his daughter.

I’ve been taking a 50 mg vitamin C tablet every morning since.


Hometown publications invigorate their trade area with powerful shots of Vitamin C6. These powerful ingredients assure [1] continuity, [2] cooperation, [3] credibility, [4] commitment, [5] consensus and [6] a true sense of community.

No other form of public communication has the reach or depth to do so much day after day. The natural value of Vitamin C6 brings life, direction and stimulation to the area served.

1. CONTINUITY. Locally written and edited papers are the most reliable link to the past as well as the most dependable source of informative details regarding what is happening that day or week.

Local newspapers are the first writers of current history. They are the most often researched source for individuals seeking family records or community social or cultural information about the past. The community newspaper provides a lifeline that provides CONTINUITY from generation to generation as well as between the town’s various interest groups.

2. COOPERATION. The hometown newspaper encourages local teamwork for the good of all. As the leading media connecting with the majority of local families, the paper is in a position to educate, encourage and clearly explain “the why” something is happening in the community and how citizens can COOPERATE with those making the necessary changes and improvements.

Radio cannot create the same levels of COOPERATION. There are too many different stations for any of them to earn the attention of the masses. The internet can’t. That media is overloaded with as many differing opinion blog sites, ideas and voices as stars in the sky. Many of them are shortsighted and biased.

3. CREDIBILITY. A newspaper’s future depends on earning and keeping the respect of the local readers, advertisers and community leaders. Newspapers cannot afford to get the facts wrong or to take sides when reporting a story. A newspaper’s reputation depends upon its CREDIBILITY. That hard-earned expectation of honesty and dependability extends beyond the editorial material, in the mind of the reader, to the ads and openly published opinion pieces.

4. COMMITMENT. The men and women who own, manage and produce a local newspaper live and raise their families in (or near) the town where they are staking their business. They are COMMITTED to making that town the best possible place to live, work and invest. Their children attend the local schools, worship in the local churches and play in the local parks. The family depends upon the decision makers for their individual safety and a certain quality of life. Their COMMITMENT to building a better community makes the local paper the town’s leading cheerleader for all important events and projects. Papers support those projects with their stories, advertising space, time and often even their own dollars.

5. CONSENSUS. Only the local newspaper can create CONSENSUS in today’s widely changing and diverse community. Radio stations cannot. None have enough listeners to create a general agreement on any subject. Broadcast television cannot. Their coverage area is too large to be able to promote ideas for the common good of a nearby town. Internet bloggers and Facebook cannot. There aren’t two bloggers or websites with the same idea, message or purpose. Only the community newspaper, subscribed to and delivered to the majority of homes in the community can change minds, offer detailed ideas and motivate a wide range of citizens to one common, worthwhile solution.

6. COMMUNITY. Everyone belongs to a number of communities: the town they live in, the church they attend, the high school whose team they and their friends cheer for, the organizations they belong to and finally, the place where they work. Individuals are part of those groups because it makes them feel comfortable, safe and secure and often provides an exciting challenge or satisfying experience. Being part of a COMMUNITY offers recreation and educational opportunities, guarantees a better, more balanced life and provide a source of income.

Man does not normally want to live alone. The hometown newspaper has for generations been the first form of local social media and protector of individual rights. Newspapers help enforce that important sense of community with powerful storytelling, reliable reporting and solid leadership. They create a closely-knit group of individuals sharing a common hope, goal and purpose.


By Peter Wagner

Guest Columnist

This column was provided by the Ohio News Media Association.

This column was provided by the Ohio News Media Association.