The death of our community newspaper is no small thing. The economics of running “small town” newspapers has always been challenging, even in the best of times. Ad revenue and subscribers that newspapers rely on to stay in business have steadily become scarce. A worldwide pandemic is the final blow. While I understand all of that, I cannot let the Eden Prairie News fade without lamenting the loss.
For 46 years the News was an important part of the community. The News helped us celebrate local athletes and scholars, we learned who was coming and going via birth and death notices, and recognized kids we once knew in marriage announcements. What is the concert tonight at Staring Lake, and what is going on with that street work? We found the answers in the News.
Perhaps most importantly, the EP News kept an eye on things for us. We did not have to attend City Council or school board meetings because we knew the News was there and we’d read all about it on Thursday. The News introduced us to local candidates with interviews and Q&As. And how many of the community’s young people had their first civic engagement experience by writing a Letter to the Editor of the Eden Prairie News?
People — kids and adults alike — were delighted to find themselves pictured in the paper for an accomplishment or simply as a member of the crowd at an event. No doubt scrapbooks all around the community are sprinkled with clippings from the paper.
Heaven knows I consume a lot of news online these days, but subscribing to the local paper has always been a no-brainer. Call me a luddite, but I would prefer a little more actual and a little less virtual. I will miss the Eden Prairie News and whether you know it or not, so will you.
Mary McGarry Woitte