Amy Henderson

Amy Henderson

Are you looking for the perfect Christmas gift for a special person in your life? A gift that fits no matter how may holiday parties you attend or how often you go to the gym? Well, if I make make a suggestion... Give the gift of local news.

Last Saturday was “Shop Local” day - quite frankly, everyday we should be striving to shop local first - and I’d like to extend that to shopping local when it comes to your news, as well. Following state and national news is important, of course. Local news, however, is unique to each community. Rarely are the national outlets going to cover a story in Cullman. And believe me, if they do, it’s probably not going to be the kind of attention we want.

Local newspapers rely on subscriptions and advertising to operate. Like other businesses, newspapers employee people who also contribute to the local economy by paying taxes, shopping locally and supporting area charities. When you purchase a subscription to The Cullman Times, you’re supporting local journalism. In turn, we serve the community by promoting events and covering the news important to you.

There is an actual cost to not having local news in a community. Studies have shown that communities with local papers have higher voter turnout, more engaged citizens and more informed voters. In addition, a 2018 study showed that where newspapers go out of business the cost and inefficiencies in government go up. Without newspapers to report on government actions, governments become more costly and less effective.

Newspapers are also historians for a community. In this age of DNA testing to find unknown ancestors and relatives, newspapers can tell us about the lives these relative lived. Looking back through newspaper archives reveals details about their activities including marriages, births, sports and business. When important things happen in our lives, our community or our country, we buy the paper to capture the moment. No one ever prints out a page from the internet to mark an important historical event.

So as you’re doing your shopping this holiday season, I ask you to add a subscription to The Cullman Times to your list. Throughout the year, you’ll be rewarded with coupons to your favorite local stores, information on upcoming events and coverage of news important to our community.

Amy Henderson can be reached at 256-734-2131 Ext. 116.

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