The Maine Press Association recently announced its 2014 Maine journalism awards, and the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram walked away with all the top awards and a long list of second- and third-place awards.

“So what?” people say. “Big fish in a small pond.” “Paper’s too liberal.” “I get my news elsewhere.”

Anyone who pays attention to the newspaper business knows that the industry has been losing advertising revenue and readers for many years, primarily due to computer technology, changing demographics and hardening political positions.

The Internet has changed just about everything in our lives, including how we stay in touch with our communities and the world. Young people, especially, tend to access information online.

And political partisans, on both sides of the fence, seek out news that reinforces their existing beliefs. Thus, we get Fox News and MSNBC and a host of aggregate and blogger websites with narrow political views that color their news presentations.

But to exist, all those secondary news sources need content providers, and that has been the role of newspapers for hundreds of years. Without newspapers, with their staffs of educated, professionally trained reporters, editors, photographers and commentators, those secondary sources would have nothing to present except ill-informed opinion and blather.

Not enough southern Mainers appreciate the Press Herald/Telegram. Despite the lost resources, the shrunken staff and the small market in which it operates, the PPH/MST staff manages to produce a quality product, day after day. No easy task.

I’ve been in the newspaper business, and I read several major city newspapers regularly. Many once-great newspapers have become shells of their former selves. The Portland newspapers are a notable exception, and deserve to be read, in print or online, no matter your political affiliation.

Steven Price
Kennebunkport