Large as life, the Cleveland Plain Dealer used its front page on Friday to show the world how its community felt about the loss of NBA superstar LeBron James.
That page, and the incredible stories and photos inside Friday’s Plain Dealer, also showed how and why newspapers will endure.
Sure, the Internet chattered day and night. Sure, television went nuts with the lead-up and eventual announcement that LeBron was leaving Cleveland for Miami. I’ve got no quibble with any of that: We put a huge amount of energy into our website, Twitter and Facebook every day, too.
But how long did any of those media endure as the LeBron story unfolded? Seconds? Minutes? An hour?
That one edition of the Plain Dealer and its incredible front page design, though, will be remembered and remarked about for years. Its associated stories and photographs held readers’ attention long after the tweeters moved on to the next big thing. Only in the print edition did Cleveland see and hear the full depth of the story; only there could Cleveland see and hear itself.
And the connection between the Plain Dealer and the community it serves will continue, strong and resilient, no matter the day or the news it brings.
Because newspapers don’t just walk away. Not in Cleveland, Miami or Missoula.