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By Rick Tonyan
Daily newspapers, television, 24-hour cable, news radio, Internet all provide a steady stream of information to readers, listeners and viewers.
With all the news media out there, why should anyone read a paper that comes out twice a week, or visit its Web site?
It's easy to answer that question. Go to a place where The West Volusia Beacon is sold, and compare its front page to those of any other papers on sale.
See many stories about West Volusia on those other front pages? See anything except West Volusia news on The Beacon's front? The same comparison applies to the home page of beacononlinenews.com and all the other Internet media.
Somebody who wants West Volusia news on television broadcasts will spend a long time fruitlessly watching talking heads. Internet users will spend a lot of time clicking before they find a place on the Web that helps you navigate the events and businesses in West Volusia as reliably as The Beacon's site.
CNN political pundit Lou Dobbs did broadcast a piece from West Volusia. It was about how The Beacon took the lead in pressing for verifiable results from the first touch-screen election.
The Beacon caught Dobbs' eye the same way it catches the eyes of local community leaders and residents. The paper and its Web site stick to what's important to West Volusians.
No offense to the rest of the media. Everybody should keep abreast of international, national and state news. It's even interesting to learn gossip about celebrity love lives and substance-abuse habits.
But, 99 times out of 100, the stuff that really hits home in West Volusia will be nowhere else but in The Beacon. Yes, it's important to know what's going on in the White House, Congress and overseas. But, what's going on in Volusia County will have the most direct effect on the daily lives of West Volusians.
Those local goings-on also offer the best opportunity for people who live in West Volusia to get involved. You may not be able to attend a demonstration on the White House lawn, but if you and your neighbors are showing up at the next meeting in City Hall, The Beacon will be there with you. We'll also let you know what's happening so you can take part.
From meetings of the Red Hat Society to local tax levies, The Beacon's readers get what's important to them.
That's been the driving philosophy of The Beacon since its founding in 1992. It will remain the philosophy of the paper and its presence on the World Wide Web.
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