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With the advent of the digital era, one of the biggest changes in society was the decline of print media.

Many well-known magazines were among those to cease publication, while a list of newspapers who closed their doors included those of all sizes.

In our state, the most notable in Ohio being the loss of the Youngstown Vindicator, while, in West Virginia, the Charleston Daily Mail ceased publication and folded into its rival paper.

In many small towns, community newspapers disappeared, leaving “news deserts,” where no reporters cover village and city news.

This leaves residents to rely on the occasional coverage from broadcast media, who have to cover much wider areas and do not have the staff or air time to devote to every county they serve.

Or, even worse, the notoriously unreliable gossip of social media is all that is left to fill the void.

And it is at times like this that areas that still have community newspapers can see their benefits.

Here at The Ironton Tribune, our focus has been on the news of Lawrence County and the municipalities within it.

And during this state of emergency, our mission is more important than ever.

We are committed to bringing you updates on local closures, food services and business changes during the coronavirus crisis, as well as what our city, village and county governments are doing to address events.

We hope to provide all of our readers with the most immediate coverage of this worldwide story as possible and keep them up to date on all aspects of it as it impacts them here — information we know will not be thoroughly available elsewhere.

It is times like this that local news is more important than ever and we thank every reader and advertiser who supports us.

We pledge to do our best to keep you informed during this crisis.