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Community pulsates its news

Newspapers are community.

From birth announcements to marriage licenses to proceedings from our elected boards, newspapers record the heartbeat of the community it represents; in this case the Lahontan Valley News feels the pulse of Fallon and Churchill County and reports on the day-to-day activities.

This is what makes our publications and others unique during National Newspaper Week.

That’s why living in Churchill County is so special for our residents who have a sense of home, a place where they can become involved with their local Rotary Club or Senior Citizen Center or Sorpotimists. The various service organizations, fraternal groups and churches create a common bond of people interested in their community with a place to share ideas and offer constructive criticism.

Community journalism in Churchill County has played an integral role since the early 1900s when the very first newspaper was printed. In communities where a newspaper exists — such as Churchill County — we will definitely fine people who care about others. This becomes so true when a family loses its possession because of a fire or a member of our community struggles with a life-threatening disease.

Our community proudly takes an active roll in promoting activities such as Relay for Life and Domestic Violence awareness. Every October, local groups strive to make more and more people aware of breast cancer. We will certainly find people who care about others, a trait that has made this community stand above others.

Community pride arose almost one year ago when thousands of people followed the weekly games of Fallon Greenwave football and how the team qualified for its first state championship game since the late 1970s. Community pride oozed from Fallon to Reno with the green and white colors.

More than three years ago, this community rallied to assist passengers injured or shaken up from a collision that involved Amtrak and a big rig vehicle. Scores of volunteers assembled at a local elementary school, ready to assist when asked.

Likewise, many men and women from Fallon have answered the call to serve their country and served around the world including the Arabian Sea and Afghanistan.

The Lahontan Valley News has covered thousands of events since its inception. From beginning to finish, this community newspaper was the first news outlet to arrive at the Amtrak crash and reported stories in print and online for five consecutive days. Furthermore, the LVN followed the servicemen and women who served on the other side of the world. In an unprecedented move, this community newspaper reported from overseas on the Nevada Army National Guard’s soldiers who served at Bagram Air Field, Kabul, Forward Operating Base Shank and Kandahar. Additionally, the LVN interviewed pilots and support personnel aboard the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis in the middle of the Arabian Sea.

Veterans told their stories and expressed their experiences in a war zone. It was a perfect way for our military men and women to reach out to the community, and the community reacted by reaching out to them when they returned from their respective deployments.

Closer to home, the community newspaper reports on current activities from Western Nevada College and the Churchill County School District. In less than a week, the LVN will host a Candidates Night.

Community journalism isn’t about paper and ink or websites and unique visitors. It’s not about awards for writing or quotes that sting.

Community journalism is a living, breathing, shared connection of people that propels us to take chances, to realize that life is not always safe, clean and tidy, but that through our connection there is plenty to celebrate and adventures to explore.

There are challenges ahead, just as there have been obstacles in the past. But there is also tremendous opportunity just waiting to be shared.

Together, we are community.

Steve Ranson is editor of the Lahontan Valley News, and Keith Anderson is director of news, EVM publishers, in Coon Rapids, Minn.