Unfold Your Future in a newspaper

Friday, October 11, 2002

This week is celebrated as National Newspaper Week with the theme "Unfold Your Future."

Yes, it's cute. But there's more to it than that.

Since the days of newsheets sold by boys on corners to the future where newspapers may be mostly online with a print option, these publications have given the reading populace the ability to be educated about events around them.

As societies become more civilized, one of the key developments is that generations become more reliant on written, formal means of communications. With social development, researchers find less reliance by the people in a society on informal talk and more interest in publications.

Yes, many people say they get their news from TV -- which means they rarely get more than 90 seconds on any one story. It also means there is rarely any reliable explanation of where the information originates or the context it fits in.

And even in this day of the Internet, hundreds of different news programs on a growing number of broadcast and cable channels, 59.1 percent of Iowa adults surveyed said they read a newspaper for daily news.

Any newspaper allows a reader to examine words -- and re-examine, if necessary, to understand the context. A newspaper provides a collection of information that can be read years later to get a history of what a community or an individual was like.

Psychologists find those who read through newspapers are more likely to be well-informed, to be aware of risks and precautions, to have a broader perspective and to empathize with others.

If you're still with us at this point in the editorial, chances are you're a thoughtful reader. Maybe we're preaching to the choir.

So spread the word -- or the words. Ask your friends or neighbors how they interpret a point in a story. Encourage them to read it again or for the first time.