This is the 80th year National Newspaper Week has been observed, and we want you to celebrate with us.

The Lawton Constitution began publishing in 1904 and was bought by John Shepler in 1910. Since that time this publication has strived to be your source for information in Southwest Oklahoma. The paper has undergone many changes since Shepler bought it in 1910. Gone are the teletype machines that spat out the news from around the world, gone are the hot metal plate days and gone, too (in most cases), are the boys on bicycles who once threw the newspaper on your porch or front lawn.

Those teletype machines have been replaced by computers and many of you now read your daily newspaper on an electronic device. We strive to update our news report throughout the day via our website so our readers can get the very latest information of events happening in their community.

Though the method of delivering the news to our readers has changed over time, how we gather the news has largely remained the same. We still have dedicated reporters who attend endless meetings so we can report to you what the City Council and local school boards are voting on that will affect your lives. We let you know if your trash collection days are going to change, we inform you if schools are going to change lunch prices or what the final score was of Friday night’s big football game.

We also inform you of what your neighbors are doing. We tell of upcoming festivals in all of Southwest Oklahoma, when organizations plan special events and even if your neighbors are planning a garage sale.

We keep an eye on government officials for you. We monitor their budgets and how they spend your tax dollars. We let you know who is running for office in city, school, state and federal elections so you can make informed decisions at the voting booth.

And we are there to record in pictures the special moments in the life of our community: The birth of the first baby born every new year in Lawton, school Christmas plays, donations to organizations and award recipients. We also record the tragic news of the day — house fires, car wrecks, floods and tornadoes.

On the opinion page, we present you with new, fresh ideas to challenge you. Some of those opinions you may not agree with. They are presented so you can consider other viewpoints, then you can make up your own mind on the hot-button issue of the day.

Not only do we strive to inform you, we also strive to entertain you through the daily comic page, the Sunday comics, the bridge column and of course not one, but two crossword puzzles a day.

All of these issues are just as important to us as they are to you, because this is our home also. Almost all of the newspaper staff has roots in Southwest Oklahoma. Some of us are native Lawtonians while others of us grew up in other towns in Southwest Oklahoma. We have the same values as you do and care about the same issues.

Yes, the paper has undergone many changes over the past century or so, but our commitment to you, our readers, has stayed the same: To bring you the most up-to-date, most accurate information in Southwest Oklahoma so you make informed decisions on the issues that affect you.

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