National Newspaper Week is the first week in October. Just as last year’s record flooding occurred during the observance, this year has brought the threat of a major hurricane.

As much as we’d settle for a nice, normal, so-called slow news week as opposed to floods and hurricanes, National Newspaper Week is again affording newspapers the opportunity to illustrate the key role they play in keeping people informed in not-so-normal times as well as every day.

Television, radio and other media have their place in the information process but newspapers are the primary source of information in many communities. That is the case with this newspaper and The T&D Region, where The Times and Democrat, The TandD.com, our mobile news platform and social media sites are keeping people up to date on what is happening with Hurricane Matthew.

Times of crisis see newspapers such as this daily concentrate heavily on keeping people informed first and foremost about what is happening in the immediate vicinity. The stories from Orangeburg, Bamberg and Calhoun counties are our priority – and won’t be found elsewhere.

As Hurricane Matthew became a threat, our news team went to work telling the print and digital audience about the danger posed by the storm to our inland counties, the role the counties are playing as primary evacuation areas, preparations by locals for a natural disaster a year after the flooding, the stories of people preparing, the memories of the last big hurricane to hit hard here, and much more. Our pages are full of local news and our digital platforms are there to update people consistently with the latest on the storm and what is happening in their world. Plus we give you the news about what is happening in the rest of the state and other areas affected by the storm, including the Caribbean.

As much as a hurricane is something no one welcomes, it is during the time of such a threat that people most need newspapers and the reliable reporting we strive to bring. As today and the coming days put into focus what is to happen with Matthew, we’ll be there to tell you the story. There is no better way to celebrate National Newspaper Week.

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During National Newspaper Week, Oct. 8 was set aside to recognize people many consider a newspaper institution, though they are infrequently named in the same way as reporters, photographers and others. In fact, newspaper carriers are not employees of the newspaper. They are independent contractors, each an “individual force of one” bringing you the daily print edition.

If ever there was a week in which they lived up the motto of delivering the printed word in any and all conditions, it was during the rain and flooding of a year ago. Many of The Times and Democrat’s carriers were able to deliver newspapers on schedule despite the conditions, and even when conditions in specific locations made delays inevitable, they made every effort to get newspapers to readers as soon as possible.

No matter what Hurricane Matthew brings, they’ll strive to the same again a year later.

As we have been told many times over in times of crisis, there is something reassuring in knowing the newspaper is there to provide information on what has happened and what is expected. In abnormal times, it is a serious source of normalcy.

Carriers face everyday obstacles too. Just as with any person working in logistics, the carrier must deal with breakdowns, both at the source when there are delays in printing a daily edition and on the road in terms of stoppages or mechanical problems. Through thick and thin, they persevere.

We join our readers in saying “thank you” to carriers of The T&D for completing the mission every day, every night and continuing to bring readers the printed newspaper that thousands make a vital part of their lives.

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