One of the many special weeks in a year is Newspaper Week. We are in it this week, October 7-13. It is convenient, therefore, to use this time and space both to defend the so-called Fourth Estate, our journalism situation, and to focus on and promote The Voice, based in Aurora which serves DuPage, Kane, Kendall Counties, and a small northeast corner of Will County. The Voice is more than a newspaper.
One important function of a newspaper is to be a voice for its communities and residents. We provide an opportunity for a dialogue among and between residents, businesses, governmental representatives, and any other interested parties.
In addition to advertising space, The Voice provides opinion space in letters to the editor and reader’s commentary. We do not mix opinion pieces with news content.. There is greater sensitivity today than ever in opinion pieces and perspectives in any readership. We clearly indicate that individuals’ opinions are their own and not necessarily that of this newspaper. Our function is to provide space for residents and interested individuals to state their cases and opinions, provided the stances are not libelous. Responses to those opinions are encouraged.
Tolerance of another view is essential to democracy, clear thinking, and securing an attitude of inclusion, not exclusion. When we are inclusive, society functions better than in a select circle or clique.
The Voice has received encouragement and support through our 10 years. We celebrated our 10th anniversary June 9 with a quiet picnic and invited guests were those individuals who have been freelance writers and photographers and long-term advertisers. We look forward to continue reflecting communities and fulfilling our mission.
At that enjoyable picnic at one of the Fox Valley Park District’s parks, The Voice unveiled its new website. Progress is a part of any business. We continually change, improve, refine, and function more smoothly. The future includes an online presence. We do not have a view that the communication business is a process of either one way or another way. Communication is all-inclusive.
Our website, thevoice.us, is available for viewing on the world wide web. We include each week’s issue and additional information of importance each week. We will refrain from using the term breaking news, because so often television news stations use the term breaking news for the same report nearly all day. Soon, we will have a modest charge for viewing thevoice.us and will accept modest fees for advertising on the website. It is the business model that will keep us financially viable. We do not have outside funding, grants, or donors.
The Voice’s Jason Crane, general manager, photographer, reporter, and all-around asset to our mission, did a nice job in designing the website for reader consumption. Reader participation is encouraged. We are thankful to all contributors. Dustin Krueger, pagination specialist and photographer, has been steady and valuable, just as are too many others to identify.
We have added the capability of using The Voice for obituaries at a more modest fee than the bigger newspapers. We straddle the problem of timing, of course, with an upcoming family visitation or service. The situation is improved with the use of our online presence to help spread the word.
We invite continuing encouragement, participation, and understanding.
Newspapers were the primary form of communications even prior to the establishment of the U.S. government going back to when our land was a part of the British colonies in the 18th Century. A great American, Benjamin Franklin, started a newspaper in Philadelphia and performed many important functions, including inventions. He was the first U.S. postmaster and knew that periodicals should receive discounted rates because of their importance. Communication is the key ingredient to democracy.
The communication business always will evolve. It is made up of imperfect human beings who enjoy their tasks. In spite of political slings and arrows, the communication business connects individuals, communities, businesses, governments. Joy in our work is not taken for granted, or lightly. We are a fabric of our society and seek communication with our readers, residents, respondents.