The next time someone tells you newspapers are irrelevant, tell them to read this blog post.
I get it. Newsrooms are shrinking, subscription are going up, and it feels like there’s not enough time in the day to read some dusty old newspaper — even if it comes in a slick digital version.
But that doesn’t change the fact that major metropolitan newspapers still boast the largest newsrooms in their communities. By a mile. More than TV stations. More than radio stations. More than every local blog combined.
Before you send me an example showing a newspaper didn’t live up to its potential, let me save you some time. I agree with you. Newspapers have many faults. But even with many faults, newspapers are still worth reading. No other local publication in your city invests the time and resources to tell readers something new and amazing about the world. Many days — not every day, but many — you’re simply missing out if you don’t read it.
Let’s look at just one example, the San Antonio Express-News, where I work. If you didn’t read San Antonio’s daily newspaper in 2016, here’s a sampling of what you missed.
(Full disclosure: These articles were written by my colleagues, many of whom are friends and, in one case, the mother of my children. All their stories still kick ass.)
The Next Million: Did you know San Antonio will grow by a million people by the year 2040? Do you know what that means for you and what city officials plan on doing about it? Express-News Staff Writer Vianna Davila spent a year finding those answers. That’s right. She got paid to spend a whole year on this package of stories about an issue that directly affects you and your kids.
For the past year, the San Antonio Express-News has interviewed scores of people — homeowners, renters, planners, experts and developers — to understand and examine past and present growth in San Antonio and Bexar County, as local officials begin to confront a startling possibility: Today, nearly 1.9 million people live in Bexar County, but the population is expected to grow by another 1.1 million people by the year 2040.
With this increase will come unprecedented demand for more housing, jobs and seats in classrooms; it will put tens of thousands of new vehicles on the roads.
How to accommodate so many new people is a staggering challenge, in a place where development already has spread in virtually any direction it wants, unconstrained by any natural barriers, in order to meet the needs of a city and a county that’s been steadily growing for decades.