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Column

Thanks to Creston

It’s amazing how quickly a year can pass by. I started at the CNA in May 2017, and now, almost exactly one year later, I’ll be moving to another job back in my college town, Ames. The opportunity came along somewhat unexpectedly, but it seems a good fit for me. I’ll be working for the newspaper there — the Ames Tribune.

I am incredibly thankful for everybody that has welcomed me to Creston. I don’t think many other communities would have done the same, in the same kind of way. Creston almost immediately felt like home. It was a big change — having grown up in Iowa City and then living in Ames for four years — but certainly not a negative change. Creston is a good place. And I’m grateful for the chance I had to live and work in this community.

While here, I’ve had the opportunity to write and cover a little bit of everything, which has been an amazing learning experience. The whole industry of journalism, and especially newspapers, is definitely changing. I hope to continue my career in the field, but I’m unsure what it will look like in 20 years. All I can say is I’m glad for the chance I’ve had to participate in it so far.

I will always love print newspapers. I enjoy the texture of newsprint, and I enjoy the whole process of picking up a newspaper and reading it cover to cover as a relaxing start to the day, or break during the day. I think a lot of others feel the same way, despite all the negative publicity the industry gets.

I don’t think newspapers will ever go away, though they almost certainly have and will continue to change. I believe there is something to be said to a deliverable piece of news that one can read and be “done with.” I think the endless, scrolling feeds on social media or news websites aren’t good for us. I believe they make us very apathetic. We’ll see how things play out, but I won’t be surprised when newspapers make a comeback.

The same teenagers and young adults that exclusively use Facebook and Instagram to get news today, will be the editors and publishers of what newspapers there are left standing in 40 years’ time. They will be designed differently, written differently and read differently. Their purpose may even be significantly changed. I am curious and excited to see exactly how so.

More and more research is coming out describing what negative affects the internet has had on our society. It has been so great in so many ways, but it seems not until recently have folks been willing to look further into how else it has affected us.

Economically, the results have been staggering. Local businesses, and now even larger chains (Younkers, in the news recently) are being outcompeted by Amazon and the online retailers. Our communities are starting to look a lot different now that everybody just orders everything on the internet.

Socially, studies have shown today’s youth behave in very different ways than even just the youth of 10 or 15 years ago. Smartphones and the ubiquity of the internet have totally changed our culture. Only time will tell if it’s for the better.

In the meantime, I will continue on with newspapers. To have had the opportunity of working for a daily paper right out of college makes me incredibly grateful to Creston, and to everybody here at the CNA. I won’t name names for fear of leaving anybody out, but I think the community already knows there are some great people here, doing great things.

I love Iowa. Maybe that’s because it’s the only place I’ve ever really known, but you can’t blame me for that. I feel it will always be my home. This chance I’ve been given to get to know the southwest corner of the state won’t be wasted. I hope to get to know the whole state in time. And I’m thankful for how welcoming the Creston community has been to me.

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Contact the writer:

Email — afelker@crestonnews.com

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