Rotary Golf 2024

Misplaced anxiety over social media glitch

by | Mar 20, 2019 | Opinion

Last Wednesday was a day of anxiety for a lot of people – at least, if what I heard on several radio and television stations was accurate.

Facebook was down and what a vacuum this caused.

OMG, or LOL?

During the hours the social media giant was experiencing technical difficulties I had no idea of the ramifications this lack of wasting one’s time was having on the world. But as the afternoon and evening wore on, the downtime became the lead story in the broadcasting world.

To be clear, our media company uses Facebook, and yes, even I am guilty of accessing it almost daily.

We use it as a tool to inform readers of information that resides in, or on, our main products; first our newspapers and secondly our websites. As a result, I have to go through my own account to get to our company accounts.

We use it because we have to meet you where you live to grab your attention. We want your attention because we want you to be informed about the community in which you live.

At this point in the column I’m not going down any one of the countless rabbit trails about the positive and negative aspects of using social media. Instead I’ll pose a question.

Do you know what kind of vacuum is taking place in America of an even greater magnitude?

How about the loss of 1,800, and counting, newspapers since 2004?

The phrase ‘Stop the press!’ has taken on a whole new meaning for a lot of my colleagues.

Last week the newspaper industry observed Sunshine Week. It’s a time of reflection and awareness focused on you, the reader.

It’s celebrated annually to remind you of the importance of accurate, fair and balanced reporting. It’s meant to remind you that you have a voice, that what you think about the events that shape your world locally, statewide or, nationally matter.

If you’ve read my columns, then you know I’m guilty of creating awareness about the newspaper you are reading or should read.

But let me be clear, the only agenda I have is to keep you informed.

What you missed during a few hours of social media downtime is nothing compared to what millions of people have missed since losing their newspaper.

When a community loses its newspaper it becomes a news desert. It no longer has an unbiased, balanced vehicle to keep it informed about issues that hit home. No independent thought exists about what’s going on at city hall, the school district, the county and beyond.

When a newspaper closes, all socio-economic demographics are affected, both low-income and affluent, suburban and metro.

Now that’s what I call anxiety.

In the advertising and marketing world there’s a term ‘call to action.’ It’s the part in the ad that tells you what to do next.

This is my call to action to you.

If you are reading this and do not subscribe to your local paper, do so. If you have friends who do not subscribe to a local paper, share what you already know and encourage them to spend a few dollars a month on a subscription.

You, your friends, your neighbors, all of you, deserve to have a place where you can have a voice. It’s only with your support that this community newspaper can truly help this community’s voice.

[email protected]

By Chad Engbrock • [email protected]

Subscribe RH Love

0 Comments

Order photos

Related News

Texas counties among nation’s fastest growing

Texas counties among nation’s fastest growing

Recent estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau indicate that six of the 10 fastest-growing counties in the United States from 2022 to 2023 were in Texas. According to the Texas Tribune, Kaufman County, just east of Dallas, led the list with a 7.6% increase in new...

read more
Read this. Build a stronger community.

Read this. Build a stronger community.

Saddened. Embarrassed. Determined. These three words evoke distinct feelings and emotions.  In the context of an opinion piece we ran in the paper four and a half years ago, they described the aftermath of a community that lost its newspaper. After 130 years in...

read more
Largest wildfire in state history still raging

Largest wildfire in state history still raging

A wildfire in the Texas Panhandle has consumed more than 1 million acres and as of Sunday was just 15% contained, according to the Texas A&M Forest Service. It is the largest wildfire in Texas history. The Smokehouse Creek Fire is by far the most extensive of...

read more
Pet ownership: A lifetime commitment

Pet ownership: A lifetime commitment

He was crossing the road. Over and over. I was surprised someone hadn’t hit him with their car. I was also surprised the coyotes hadn’t gotten him. It was 9 o’clock at night and according to the residents of the small strip of country road, he’d been out there for a...

read more
Pitch made for new power plants

Pitch made for new power plants

Lt. Gov Dan Patrick joined with the world’s largest investment firm to pitch investors on building natural gas power plants in Texas at a summit held last week in Houston. Patrick and BlackRock CEO Larry Fink shared the stage as they attempted to persuade investors to...

read more
Dewey or don’t we?

Dewey or don’t we?

On Christmas Eve 2008, there were just three of us working in the office. Well, technically, there was one of us working, the other two were there. A couple of the young ladies on staff either didn’t have enough vacation time built up or they were saving it for...

read more
A range of options

A range of options

My great grandparents lived on a homestead. They cooked on a wood stove. Most of us today have no idea how good we’ve got it. For my great grandparents’ generation, remodeling the kitchen meant picking a different place to stack the wood. When I was growing up in...

read more
A word from our sponsors

A word from our sponsors

Commercials used to be great. They used to be an art form. They used to be fun. Today’s advertising is boring in comparison. Television commercials were something to which I looked forward when I was a kid. Some were better developed and more interesting than the...

read more
Quakes prompt officials to limit disposal wells

Quakes prompt officials to limit disposal wells

The Texas Railroad Commission has suspended nearly two dozen permits that allow oil and gas companies to inject saltwater into the ground, which regulators say has contributed to increased earthquakes of greater magnitude in West Texas. The Austin American Statesman...

read more
Order photos