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There’s good news, and there’s bad news

“A good newspaper is a nation talking to itself.”  – Arthur Miller

As 2013 winds to a close, the temptation is to look back and take stock before turning our sights forward in hopes of a better year ahead. 

We in the news business are probably more intimately aware of the happenings of the year past, since we have reported it week in, week out. It’s not always easy, and sometimes it’s downright painful. It was difficult, for example, having to report on a stabbing in downtown Cloquet this week — this week of all weeks, when we have to wedge it between Santa photos and the glad tidings of the season. But it’s something that you, the reader, deserve to know about, and so there it is. 

It is all of you, the residents of the communities we cover, who are the newsmakers. It is your lives that we document — the successes, the milestones, the celebrations and yes, sometimes the failures, tragedies and setbacks. You are the ones who live on in the print and online archives of the Pine Knot, the Cloquet Journal and the Pine Journal to become a part of the history of our area. 

More and more these days we hear that newspapers, as a viable form of communication, are dead or dying. We would argue that newspapers, particularly community newspapers, have never played a more critical role. Face it — the majority of the news of Carlton County is unlikely to make national headlines unless it is bad. You won’t hear about what happened at Tuesday night’s city council meeting on The Today Show. You won’t read how the Eskomos basketball team fared against Moose Lake in USA Today. And your son’s or daughter’s wedding photo is probably not going to appear on the homepage of AOL.

We seek to be the type of hyper-local news source that doesn’t try to “do it all,” but what we do cover we try to do well. Our readers and advertisers help make that possible. In a single day, a recent subscription drive brought in an even 100 new or renewing subscribers. That is a hearty endorsement of the role we play in the community, and for that we thank you. 

The coming year will mark the 130th anniversary of our newspaper, and we feel there is a reason we’ve been around so long. A big part of that reason is you.

We hope you will continue stopping by, calling or writing in with your news tips, suggestions and yes, criticisms. We can only be as strong as the communities who read and support us. 

We wish you all a Happy New Year — and may all your news be good!

~ Wendy Johnson