CP: Why Nashville Needs Newspapers



Print edition cover, final issue, The City Paper
  • Print edition cover, final issue, The City Paper

The final issue of The City Paper is on stands now and, appropriately, it's filled with news and reporting — on the fairgrounds, the new grading policy in Metro schools and new police cameras in East Nashville.

Jerome Boettcher profiles Vanderbilt point guard Eric McClellan, David Boclair writes on the end of innocence for Nashville coaches and Harold Huggins closes another chapter in a long career.

Of course when there is an elephant in the room, no newspaper worth its salt avoids pointing at it. To that end, J.R. Lind obsesses over the dim future of newspapers in Nashville, and William Williams writes up the CP's proud but often rocky history.

On the cover, though, is the paper's closing argument — an editorial signed by the entire staff, on why Nashville needs newspapers. An excerpt, after the jump:

The sort of people who end up in this business can take the value of being informed for granted. To the kind of information junkie who works at a newspaper, it’s an obsession and compulsion on top of a civic duty. If you’re reading this, you may share that obsession.

But as national and local sources of consistent, reliable information are weakened, if not lost, it’s worth making the case again: That the voting booth is only powerful if it’s occupied by citizens who know what the candidates have said and done, and what they plan to do. That a neighborhood’s residents deserve to have someone asking the police questions on their behalf. That it’s worth knowing who owns the sandwich shop down the street, or how the local hockey team is doing.

The reason isn’t just that knowledge is power, although it is. It’s because shared knowledge binds people together. It makes a community stronger at the ballot box and around the water cooler. For all their warts, newspapers have provided that for well over 100 years. We believe professional journalists still should.

Read the whole piece here. And grab a print copy from one of those blue boxes. They'll be empty soon.

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