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Wanting a better newspaper is not wrong

The motive idea in life is that everything can be better. It’s why we have fire, and the wheel. It’s why we aren’t huddled in caves battling the elements and predators. The idea of improvement is the impetus for agriculture and moveable type and industrialization and computers and equal protection. Improvement, progress, is even in the text of the Constitution (see Article I, Section 8). As someone once said, “Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.” The history of human beings, the focus, is the unceasing quest for a better mousetrap.

Everything can be improved. Even newspapers. Even The Alpena News (one doubts that even the News staff will dispute this sentiment). Opinions to the contrary notwithstanding, the choice is not between the current iteration of The News and Pravda (Although, why Pravda? Why not Le Soir or ABC or la Repubblica or the Baltimore Sun or the Sacramento Bee or any of the thousands of other newspapers available here and abroad? Why not something closer to home, say, the Detroit News or the Chicago Tribune? Pravda just seems rote).

Wishing for a better version of The Alpena News and actively seeking one does not make us evil; it makes us engaged. Indeed, it makes us advocates for the continuation of the paper because, like a shark, a newspaper either moves forward or it dies.

At the risk of inciting other longtime subscribers, we will continue to seek a better version of The News by pointing out what we see as shortcomings in the current version. If this is, ultimately, a quixotic venture, OK. Look at it this way if you must: It’s 300 words once a month. You’ll know from the first line what to expect. You can always not read it.

CLYDE A. SHUMAN,

Ossineke

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