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News from the Greater Munising Area: After 125 years, The Munising News closes

JAYMIE DEPEW "I hope for 2021 we are collectively inspired and healthy enough to not only improve ourselves but the communities we live in."

Willie and Nancy Peterson, owners of The Munising News, announced earlier this month that they’re ceasing publication of the 125-year-old weekly newspaper along with the Alger County Shopper on March 31. The office supply store building at 132 E. Superior St. in downtown Munising, which the Petersons operate in conjunction with the papers, will also close.

Known for its large old-timey size and tagline: “The Only Newspaper in the World That Gives a Darn About Alger County Since 1896,” The Munising News has been an instrumental tool in recording local history and being the area’s community watchdog. The Petersons have owned the business since 1998, and although it’s been for sale for years, staffing issues was the final deciding factor to shutter the doors.

An article announcing the closure that was published on March 10 by the newspaper reads: “Year after year, it has contained news, information, sadness, laughter, adventures and, most importantly, a sense of community togetherness. It has provided us with the opportunity to give public accolades to our fellow citizens. To grieve together. To express our angst. To express our pride. It has helped us celebrate the lives of those living among us and those we have lost. It’s given us a melancholy walk down memory lane in the days of yore. It has been the source of joy to the children seeing their letter to Santa in print. It has been the thread that binds our community together. It has been the essence of oneness amidst a world divided.”

Even though most information can now be found online, there’s nothing like opening a paper and reading a summary of happenings compiled onto several pages. Anyone can be a self-proclaimed “citizen journalist” by posting about a situation on social media or in a blog. We can learn from that sometimes, but it’s not the same. Journalists are trained to produce unbiased and factual stories after thorough research. In a time when the term “fake news” is thrown around at an alarming rate, traditional journalism is not only relevant but important.

While publishing a newspaper is an extremely rewarding job, it can also be stressful, draining, and often thankless. So, I want to take this time and space to commend The Munising News for its efforts for 125 years and the Petersons for the last 23. It’s one of the greatest services one can commit to their community and for that, we thank you.

Editor’s note: Jaymie Depew is the communications and special project assistant for the Alger County Chamber of Commerce/Greater Munising Bay Partnership for Commerce Development, Munising Downtown Development Authority and Munising Visitors Bureau.

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