This week (Oct. 6-12) is National Newspaper Week, an annual recognition of the role newspapers and their employees play in their local communities through their coverage of events large and small.

It’s a good time to talk about ourselves.

The roots of the The Press were planted in 1895 by Walter Edge, a Philadelphian by birth who moved here at an early age and started up or worked at a number of newspapers before founding The Atlantic City Daily Press. He used that business to launch a successful career as a two-time governor of New Jersey.

The Daily Press merged with the Evening Union in 1905, became the Atlantic City Press in 1930 and changed its name again in 1971, before finally settling on The Press of Atlantic City in 1988.

Names of editors and publishers cycled through the masthead, and countless more souls moved through the newsroom, often to bigger jobs elsewhere.

Big stories came and went. Trends came and went. But the mission of those who’ve worked here has remained constant: To report on the events important to South Jersey. To reveal, and explain. To hold up the best (and sometimes the worst) examples of human behavior.

It’s what journalists do. We seek to explain. To entertain. Our goal is to be your eyes and ears, and sometimes your microphone or soapbox (through our opinions and editorials).

We report on budgets, interview candidates and attend the council meetings. We can’t be everywhere, that’s true — these days we have to prioritize. But our mission hasn’t changed. We believe our work has value, and that what we do each day, whether its reporting a major story on government corruption or greed, sharing a history lesson, or publishing a school lunch menu, means something to someone.

Some of the stories in today’s newspaper take time to develop. But we believe that fighting for public records and challenging public officials is a role we need to fill if our communities are to benefit from our journalism. Other stories require a deeper level of understanding of a city’s history that is beyond the typical news cycle.

And some undertakings, like the daily lists of community events, require painstaking attention to detail.

All have value. And it’s all made possible by the reporters, photographers, editors and assistants who do the work, compile the reports, write the stories, find the right photograph and write the headlines.

They are the unsung heroes of National Newspaper Week.

As are you, the loyal readers who support the work we do.

On behalf of our newsroom, thank you.

Email W.F. Keough, executive editor of The Press, at wkeough@pressofac.com.

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