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On this day, we recognize your carrier

At this time when newspapers — and the media in general — are being attacked unfairly and irresponsibly for what they report and the opinions they present to their subscribers, viewers and listeners, there is a group of dedicated individuals who remain undeterred nonetheless toward ensuring Americans’ right to know, regardless of obstacles they might encounter.

While all media personnel accept the important responsibility of compiling and presenting the news of the day, in whatever role they are assigned, today is the day set aside to recognize one group of people who are the final link in the lengthy task and challenge chain to keep people informed with up-to-date, accurate, non-biased reports.

Those people are the newspaper carriers, motor route drivers and bundle haulers who ensure that subscribers’ editions reach them, not only whenever but on time, no matter what the weather conditions might be or what else of importance in their lives might be competing for their attention.

Don’t regard today’s observance of International Newspaper Carrier Day as frivolous. Instead, look upon it as what it really is — acknowledgment of a great service that works in conjunction with the other strengths of a democracy worthy of being revered.

It is important also to recognize that there are other behind-the-scenes individuals willing to step up at virtually a moment’s notice when their efforts are needed, such as the parents who “jump in” to deliver their son’s or daughter’s papers — on time — when illness strikes or something else happens, making it impossible for the usual carrier to complete his or her important duty.

A Mirror editorial honoring a International Newspaper Carrier Day of the past made an important observation worthy of repeating:

“We realize it takes a special kind of commitment to deliver the newspaper day in and day out. The dynamics of the newspaper delivery have changed over the years, particularly since the conversion many years ago to a morning (Mirror) edition. What was once a first job to many students in our area, in the afternoon, has become a necessary second income to many adults, working before dawn.

“Many readers don’t realize the numerous challenges that face our delivery force, including bad weather, frigid temperatures and vehicle breakdowns, just to name a few.”

To many Mirror subscribers, being without their morning paper would have them likening the absence of this morning friend to lamenting a weak cup of coffee to start their day.

On the topic of adverse weather, there are times when Mirror subscribers would excuse late arrival of their paper but, instead, are surprised to find it in its designated place at the same time as when conditions are optimal.

Reporters provide the written record of events; editors focus on the accuracy and readability of the articles, as well as prepare page layouts and make decisions about what can fit in the day’s edition, including photos and graphics.

When the editions exit the press room after also having passed successfully through the other necessary pre-printing processes, the final responsibility shifts to the haulers, drivers and carriers whose energy and dedication are the final “wrappings” of the newspaper package.

The days around International Newspaper Carrier Day are a good time to let your carrier know that you appreciate his or her commitment and work on behalf of the right to know.

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