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  • Writer's pictureThe Hammonton Gazette

Letters To The Editor

To the Editor,

Since 2005, more than one in four newspapers across the country have closed. That tidbit is from the July 31, 2023 New Yorker magazine. Even more depressing is that two-thirds of U.S. counties do not have a daily newspaper (Medill School of Journalism).

I begin with those statistics because our county has seen newspaper “shrinkflation” as well. The Press of Atlantic City has dwindled down to a mail delivered subscription of three days a week. I cite those statistics because I am grateful that our little town of Hammonton actually has a weekly newspaper, one where we can count on both local government news, school news, crime updates (maybe too many of those on the front page, but...), as well as human interest stories, obituaries, sports, recipes, coverage of local events and not to mention op-eds and letters to the editor.

I mention the latter because of the recent kerfuffle over an op-ed, namely Mary Sanchez’s condemnation of Jason Aldean’s song, “Try that in a Small Town.” That op-ed apparently touched quite a nerve, according to publisher Keith Dawn, and generated many calls to The Gazette expressing disapproval of the op-ed. Generally, I am neither an Aldean fan, nor appreciative of his latest hit (more of a Dan and Shay person), so I called The Gazette to say there was at least one reader who enjoyed Ms. Sanchez’s column.

But this is also what I said: that while I didn’t necessarily agree with the position of the rebuttal column by Ron Hart on that same subject, I still thought it was well-written and was buoyed by the fact that The Gazette was addressing both sides of the controversy.

When I asked if any callers to The Gazette offered threats, I was relieved to hear, no. That gave me some hope, that in this time of incredible divisiveness, we can respectfully hold opposite opinions on topics (as mundane as a song) as well as on more significant political and social issues.

I do not always agree with everything I read in print or online, including The Gazette at times, and I have a bunch of online subscriptions, but I respect the right of journalists to express their opinions without fear or retribution. After all, we do have a document, The Constitution, that contains my favorite Amendment, the First Amendment, and that allows us free speech (with limits) and provides journalists freedom of the press.

Hammontonians, keep supporting the local newspaper, even if at times you don’t always agree with what you see in print. We would be far more uninformed if someday our local paper went the way of so many others in the country.

P.S. I really like the new format, and especially the addition of color.

Lisa Campanella

Hammonton, N.J.


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