As we prepare to celebrate National Newspaper Week starting this Sunday, Oct. 2, there are several important messages we’d like to make clear to our loyal readers.

It is you, the reader, who wields the power to maintain award-winning local news coverage that comes from no other reliable, professional source.

Your collective subscriptions are the total answer — our lifeblood. It is that circulation that enables us to sell effective advertising to hundreds of local business owners, organizations and other commercial entities. Their support is also vital.

Nobody else is positioned to cover local sports teams, city hall, county government, municipal boards, nonprofit efforts, community organizations, schools and everything else that is featured on our news pages week after week.

The gathering of factual, objective local news is a costly venture yet it is vital to keeping our readers informed. Tragically, thousands of towns and villages in this country have lost their community newspaper the past 20 years.

Social media is entertaining and serves many purposes involving family and friends, yet it can’t replace the work of journalists who make it their profession to be accurate and relevant on local news. And you always know our sources and can openly challenge our news judgment.

The big problem for newspaper survival today is challenges to the revenue stream. Declining circulation and more emphasis on website news and e-editions has strained advertising revenue. The reliance upon revenues from the print newspaper remains the backbone of the newsroom.

A recent study done by Susquehanna Polling and Research Inc., a highly regarded team, showed 83% of households relied on local newspapers for local news.

Readers can help with their subscriptions. Congress can help by creating a level playing field for newspapers through the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act, which will also ensure that valuable federal advertising dollars reach community newspapers.

Americans believe in and rely upon community newspapers. Thank you!

Behind the editorial ‘we’

   Members of the Vilas County News-Review editorial board include Publisher Kurt Krueger, Editor Michelle Drew and reporter Doug Etten.