National Newspaper Week 2019 began Monday. The theme this year is “THINK F1RST” with the 1 in F1RST referring to the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which includes freedom of the press.

The observance underscores the impact of newspapers, especially local papers, to communities large and small.

In this day of instant news and fake news being sent to your computers, tablets and smart phones, community newspapers, such as The Arab Tribune, remain importan.

What have you learned about your community in the past few weeks just by reading the Tribune? A lot.

For instance, you learned:

• How the Arab Electric Cooperative board is conducting its search for a general manager. That’s important because it’s your AEC.

• Arab City Schools is conducting a search for a new superintendent, and you learned how the search consultant is conducting its business.

• A Morgan City man was arrested for throwing heroin out as deputies approached him.

• A Guntersville man was arrested for allegedly killing an Arab woman in a domestic violence incident.

Those are just a few of the Tribune’s headlines from the past few weeks.

The Tribune covers and reports not only governmental entities, but the great and wonderful, and sometimes the not-so great and wonderful things that members of our community are doing.

• We bring you local sports of all kinds – from youth recreational leagues, to Arab and Brindlee Mountain school sports.

• We tell you and show you who’s getting married, who’s getting engaged, who had a baby and all those smiling faces of kids who are having birthdays each week.

• We bring you the good and the bad.

• We tell you everything we can find out (within reason) about crime in the community, from those arrested to residents reporting burglaries and more.

The news isn’t always good, but, as a member of the community, you have a right to know it. And we have a duty to report it to you as honestly and unbiased as we possibly can.

Your local newspaper brings you photos, stories and columns that you just can’t get anywhere else. And more often than not, a photo or story is in the Tribune because you – the reader – sent it to us or let us know about it.

Keep that up.

Where else can you read what comes out of “The Entertaining Mind” of columnist John Smith?

And don’t forget our popular Southern Belle columnist, Vickie Hestley, who writes about all things uniquely southern – bless her heart.

The Tribune really is a newspaper by, about and for you and your neighbors. It takes you to make it happen every Saturday and Wednesday.

And, of course there are the employees of The Arab Tribune – the ones who literally bring you the paper each week. They are:

• Ed Reed, publisher;

• Catherine Reed, bookkeeper;

• Charles Whisenant, editor;

• Donna Matuszak, office manager and classified advertising manager;

• Mike Tankersley, sports editor;

• Archie Anderson, reporter and WRAB general manager;

• Janet Calhoun, advertising and composition;

• Laurie Hunt, advertising and composition;

• Lisa Kalil, accounts payable;

• Gayla Shedd, who delivers the paper to the post offices, stores and news racks.

So, continue to enjoy your friends posting photos of their dinners on social media, but for real news, sports, columns and ads from wonderful Arab businesses, read The Arab Tribune – Twice a Week – Every Wednesday and Saturday.

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