The burgeoning digital age is a gateway to unlimited amounts of information, including news. And sometimes what poses as news, but in reality is fake or skewed to suit a political or social agenda.

As National Newspaper Week starts today, we invite you to weigh the value of real newspapers and real news.

This newspaper, like other established publications, employs professional reporters and editors who know and understand what it means to cover government, crime, business, industry, education, sports and the events and people who define the character of our community. High standards are used in reporting to ensure accuracy, to explore issues and to stand as government watchdogs.

When meetings are held for city councils, school boards or other governmental bodies, the topics may seem dry when reading the agendas. But we often discover that those descriptions are simply a door to more interesting stories.

Newspapers’ first appeal is news and how it is presented to readers. But newspapers also provide an excellent platform for businesses to advertise their products and announce sales.

You can also find important public notices that detail legal proceedings, public projects and other important information that government and institutions are required by law to announce to residents.

The delivery of news has evolved in the last two decades with the expansion of technology, similar to many businesses that continue to change the way they operate. Print newspapers remain a vital means of delivering information to people across small communities to large cities.

The growth and expansion of news delivery through the internet, including social media outlets, will continue because of the convenience and speed that information can be sent to people within seconds.

With this technology, just like in printed newspapers, comes a tremendous responsibility to report fairly on issues and breaking news. Professional journalists remain committed to providing stories that are accurate, meaningful, clearly developed and informative.

We are also aware that the new age of information provides an avenue for special interests and schemers to manipulate audiences with misleading headlines and opinions that have no place in real news gathering and reporting.

Newspapers have long been an important part of American life and the establishment and maintenance of our nation’s freedoms.

Like many of our readers, we embrace the expanding frontier of the digital age, and we understand the role of being Cullman County’s information source.

During the past year, in addition to delivering thousands of print editions Tuesday through Sunday, The Times has averaged more than 550,000 monthly page views and almost 135,000 monthly unique visitors to Our audience is at an all-time high and continues to grow as people consume information across multiple platforms. Our audience also includes the 33,200-plus Facebook and 8,500-plus Twitter followers on our social media platforms.

The potential for delivering accurate reporting to a larger audience is an exciting experience that will only strengthen community journalism and how we deliver information to you 24/7.

The entire Times staff – many who are lifelong Cullman County residents – welcomes the challenge, and responsibility, to serve its audience at the highest level possible.

As we recognize National Newspaper Week, we invite you to take a closer look at your newspaper, The Cullman Times, whether in print or online through our Total Access delivery, and enjoy the wealth of reliable information provided daily…and we thank you for allowing us the opportunity to serve you.

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