Yesterday brought to close National Newspaper Week, a week dedicated to raising awareness of the important role newspapers play in everything from communities to democracy. And while those lofty topics are important, I’d rather tell you a bit about two groups of people behind The Daily News.
After Hurricane Harvey, an email arrived from a subscriber with a brief note and cellphone photo.
A subscriber wanted me to know how much they appreciated the individual who delivered his newspaper while the flooding was keeping many at home. The photo showed a copy of The Daily News wrapped in plastic and tied to the top of a roadside mailbox.
The subscriber described how he had watched as a carrier parked his car safely away from the water and waded through the flooding to tie a double-bagged newspaper atop the home’s elevated mailbox.
This was only a single example of dozens of emails I received from the community commending the independent contractors who deliver The Daily News.
I bring this up because the independent contractors who deliver The Daily News are, many times, the unsung faces of the newspaper experience. While many people understand the roles of the employees like the editors, reporters and even the press crews, the independent business people who deliver The Daily News are the final link in the successful completion of a newspaper arriving at your home.
These individuals are an important part of making sure the work the employees of The Daily News perform arrives in your home. And to them, we offer our heartfelt appreciation. They are incredibly important.
Secondly, I’d like to share with you a glimpse of the other end of the spectrum — the reporters out in the storm. Contrary to what some may wish to portray, a reporter’s work is not performed sitting comfortably behind a desk. And for them, wading out into the storm — literally and figuratively — is something they choose to do to in order to serve their communities.
Many times, as I was safely back in a dry newsroom, reporters were teamed with a photographer out in the storm standing hip deep in rushing floodwaters or riding along to document the efforts of local rescue teams. And to be honest, there were a few too many moments when those of us in the newsroom were concerned for our co-workers after contact with them broke down.
Yes, I could have used this space to preach the value of the words written on the pages of your local newspaper. I could also share my honest-to-God belief our nation needs a grass roots and professional media organization telling, sharing and revealing the stories that impact local communities. I believe that with every fiber in my soul.
But the reality is, if you look at what we do at The Daily News, there is an arc from start to finish. And beneath that arc, more than 100 people are involved in making the successful experience of your local newspaper possible. Consider this column the tip of the iceberg.