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Editorial: Blank page speaks volumes

We hope the blank front page of today's newspaper caught your eye.

More importantly, we hope it prompted readers to imagine, for just a few minutes, what it would be like if there wasn't a local newspaper:

No front-page stories or photos. No city council, school board or any kind of coverage of local government. No sports. Nothing about upcoming community events, church activities or business items.

No place to see how local residents feel about local issues because there would be no Opinion page.

Nothing about crimes taking place in the area or updates on court cases.

No uplifting feature stories about local people who overcame the odds, did something amazing or served as an inspiration for others.

No advertisements about restaurant deals, happy birthdays or special sales.

No legally required public notices about upcoming meetings, bids for local government contacts or other actions that impact taxpayers.

So where would residents turn to get information? Facebook? Snapchat? Twitter? Let's hope not. While it's true that those venues are great for sharing photos and family anecdotes, they cannot compete with a local newspaper for sound professional journalism and advertising trustworthiness.

Local newspapers have a huge advantage over other media: Readers can absorb the information at their own speed. They can re-read a story, refer back to it and let the facts sink in.

In many ways, a newspaper is the glue that holds the community together. It illuminates everything that's happening in the area, putting everyone on the same page, so to speak.

A local newspaper serves as a forum for the community conversations. How many times have you heard someone say, "Did you see in the paper..." or "Well, according to the paper..." or "Hey, that was neat seeing your grandchild (or other family member) in the paper."

During the "white out" campaign, which coincides with Minnesota Newspaper Week, we want to thank all of our readers and advertisers that support the newspaper — those who give us story tips, write letters to the editor, take out ads, give us information or just read our paper, whether it's every issue or when they can. We realize that not everyone likes the newspaper or every story we print. When we fall short of expectations, we encourage readers to let us know, to give us the opportunity to be the best we can be.

We take our role in the community seriously. We want to be your trusted and reliable source for information that impacts your life in Osakis. We also need your continued support, issue after issue.

Because without you, there would be no us — just a lot of blank pages.

--News/Opinion Editor Al Edenloff

Al Edenloff

Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  

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