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Thanks to my father, I’ve always associated morning with the smell of a hot cup of coffee and the rustling sound of newspaper pages.

Even on vacation, one of the first stops on a Saturday morning would be to a local gas station to grab a cup of coffee and pick up the local paper.

I was mesmerized by the photos, headlines, graphics and, of course, the funny pages.

As I got older, I learned about the process journalists go through every day to produce local papers, and I now realize just how important that job is in our society.

Human beings yearn for information, and we especially want to learn about the people around us.

Social media, cell phones and email have connected us like never before, but they’ve also bombarded us with more information than ever before.

It’s never been harder to decipher fact from fiction, rumor from reality or opinion from unbiased news.

That’s why the role of journalists is so important. We serve as government watchdogs, record keepers, conduits of vital information and an extension of the voice of the community.

The 80th annual National Newspaper Week is being observed Oct. 4-10 this year, and it is a recognition of the service of newspapers and their employees across North America.

This year’s theme is “America Needs Journalists.”

We at The Miami County Republic are proud to be the community’s local paper, and that’s a responsibility we don’t take lightly. Our promise is that we will consistently strive to be a trusted community voice that our readers can rely on.

And that’s not even mentioning the funny pages.

Editor and Publisher Brian McCauley can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or brian.mccauley@miconews.com.

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