Bill Rogers pic

Bill Rogers

National Cheeseburger Day was a recent event, and it prompted me to go out and get a cheeseburger. Newspapers are far more important to recognize, and they aren’t as fattening.

Let me prompt you to please take time to think about what your local newspaper means to your community and your family, and urge you to continue your support.

Whether in print or online, newspapers keep you informed about what is happening on so many fronts: school news, government actions, crime reports, sports, who died and who got married, and election news. The list goes on.

Newspapers also stand up for the rights of citizens to know how their elected officials – be they town councils or school boards – are planning to spend public money.

Want examples of how important newspaper reporting is? Here are some stories that were recognized in last year’s S.C. Press Association News Contest:

A coastal weekly investigation found that many court cases in Atlantic Beach were dismissed because police didn’t show up to testify.

A Charleston daily reporter told residents about a 60-foot trash pile at a rural recycling center. Within a month of his reporting on this public health and safety issue, the EPA began emergency cleanup.

An Upstate daily newspaper’s investigation into civil asset forfeiture in South Carolina uncovered that police are making millions by seizing assets, often without ever filing charges against the person whose assets are taken.

A report called “Above the Law,” exposed how sheriffs across South Carolina lined their pockets on the public’s dime, tried to silence whistleblowers and bullied other public officials who questioned their behavior.

These are just a few examples of important stories that newspapers broke. They show the kind of reporting found only in newspapers and looking out for the public’s good.

Please continue to support your local paper by subscribing and encourage your friends and family to do so, too.

Bill Rogers is executive director of the S.C. Press Association, which represents the state’s 15 daily and 74 weekly newspapers.