We continue to be fortunate to live in one of the few remaining free societies, with a wealth of information sources available. Sadly, most American cities, suburbs and small towns are down to one local daily or weekly newspaper.
Queens residents have a number of daily newspapers to select from including the New York Daily News, New York Post, New York Times, Newsday, USA Today, Wall Street Journal and along with freebies such as AM New York and Metro New York.
We are blessed with many weekly papers to select from besides our own Queens Courier along with sister publications Queens Sun, North Shore Towers Courier, LeHarve Courier, Long Island City Courier and The Brooklyn Spectator. There is also the Queens Chronicle, Queens Tribune, Queens Press, Queens Gazette, Queens Examiner, Queens Times, Times Ledger chain along with the Wave, TimesNewsweekly and Forum.
This past year, I’m grateful that the Queens Courier has afforded me the opportunity to express my views via Penner’s Pen and letters to the editor along with others who may have different opinions on the issues of the day. This past December marked completion of my five year anniversary for Penner’s Pen. While a number of other guest bloggers have come and gone, I have the honor of being the longest continuous running blog in the Queens Courier.
Thanks to you, an ordinary citizen like myself has the freedom to comment on the actions and legislation of various elected officials at the city, state and federal level. The Queens Courier has never censored anything I have submitted. Public officials are powerful with easy access to taxpayers dollars used on a regular basis to promote their views. This is done via mass mailings of newsletters, news releases, letters to the editor and guest opinion page columns. In many cases, they are produced or ghost written by campaign or office staffers paid for by taxpayers on public time. Ordinary citizens like me only have the limited ability when we can to find the time and just submit a simple submission.
Newspapers and magazines have to deal with increasing costs for newsprint, delivery and distribution along with reduced advertising revenues and declining readership due to competition from the Internet and other new information sources.
These financial challenges on maintaining the bottom line has also resulted in less resources being devoted to investigative reporting and a greater reliance on wire service stories. As a result, original newspaper content continues to shrink. This puts even more pressure on the remaining reporters assigned to various departments.
There is intense competition between international, national, state, business, sports, entertainment and other sections of newspapers. It is becoming more difficult to provide real detailed coverage of Queens local neighborhood based news.
While daily papers’s concentrate on international, national, statewide, business, sports news and entertainment news – weekly newspapers such as our own Queens Courier and others fill the void for coverage of local community news.
Local neighbors need to continuing supporting all our weekly community newspapers. Patronize their advertisers; they provide the necessary revenues to help keep them in business. Let them know you saw their ad. This helps keep our neighbors employed and the local economy growing. In the marketplace of ideas, let us hope there continues to be room for everyone including the Queens Courier and many others.