There are many weeks set aside in our country that raise awareness and celebrate different facets of American life and the month of October seems to be chocked full of multiple causes seeking awareness.

However, this past week, Oct. 3-9, is, without a doubt, our favorite week because it reminds us of who we are and why we are here.

National Newspaper Week is a time to remind all of us of the role we play in not just our community, but our role in a free and open democracy.

In 1946, President Harry Truman characterized the press as “one of the freedoms for which we were fighting and essential to our democratic way of life,” in a speech about World War II.

Think about what your community would be like if you had nobody to attend school board, city council, county commission or report on crime, all on your behalf.

Dismal is the word that comes to mind.

If our reporters were not there to tell the story, residents would only be handed one side of the story, that being the side that government, business or law enforcement wanted you to know. Believe it or not, many countries live under these type of conditions and have to rely on state-run media to tell them only what their government wants them to know.

And, when our reporters are not writing about government, sports or business, we’re working to tell those stories about individuals or organizations that make us stop and think, “Ah! I didn’t know we had that in Fairmont.”

From our staff members who answer the phones, take orders for subscriptions, help customers troubleshoot logging into our e-edition, handle the placement of an obituary for your loved one, to the crews who deliver the paper each day, we all work hard to do our best for our readers.

Our readers are the heart and soul of The Times West Virginian. We get up each day with the reader in mind asking ourselves how can we make today’s paper better than the previous day’s paper.

We may not always achieve that goal, so we’ll get up the next day and do it again.

And, when we write a story, we may not always get it right, but that is where we will run a correction. We are not above apologizing for something we failed at.

We are residents of Fairmont and Marion County just like you, which translates into the reality that we all want the same things.

We want to tell you about how safe your neighborhood is, what’s the new store going into Middletown Commons and what new policies Fairmont City Council is working on to improve your quality of life.

We are not social media where everyone gets a bullhorn and the little guy gets drowned out by the loudest voice in the echo chamber.

Newspapers, especially in small town America, are invested in the successes of their individual cities.

And while we have endured a challenging past 18 months amid the COVID-19 pandemic, we carry on for you, our readers.

We’ve written the hard stories about those who have lost family members and those who themselves came one breath away from losing their own lives.

So, we invite you to join us and help us all celebrate National Newspaper Week.

But, just remember, we’re here for you, Fairmont and Marion County, and will continue to be here, for the reader.

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