Will scrapbooks of the future have the same appeal if they’re not filled with newspaper clippings, yellowed with age, wrinkled a bit as a timeless piece of history? What better way to celebrate the Fourth of July, and the freedom it represents, than enjoying freedom of the press.

A free press is one of our greatest freedoms and while the news is now available in so many different ways – television, radio and the internet – it will never replace the comfy, cozy feeling I have when I sit down with a cup of coffee and a newspaper.

I’ve joined the fast-paced world of online technology and appreciate the fact that it gives the opportunity to reach so many more in a short amount of time, although I’ll never be able to let go of my passion for the power of print. I love the smell and feel of a newspaper.

Hometown newspapers do something no one else will do for you. They record – so you can keep the most important events of your life – birth, marriage and even death, with just a clip of the scissors. What other industry puts out a product every day, which is unique every time, and can be repurposed in so many different ways: lining the bird cage, cleaning windows, wrapping dishes?

If you've never seen a press running as it churns out paper after paper, you're missing one of the most exciting things taking place at a newspaper. Every time I walked into the pressroom I’d be reminded of how much I love the smell of ink. It's a noisy, dirty job but out of all the jobs at the paper, it's the one I admire the most, as it's up to the press guys to produce the finished product.

I was fortunate to have worked at a newspaper for 30 years and was able to experience many different aspects of putting out a daily newspaper – from setting type to rolling papers, there was never a dull moment. Everyone's job depended on the efficiency of the person working on the project before your portion began. A continuous trickle-down effect, which takes place in a very short amount of time. If one person missed their deadline, it could cost hours’ worth of delay getting the paper out on time.

I’ll admit to being a news junky and enjoy flipping through the stations to see what I may have missed, but nothing compares to having news in print – waiting for me when I'm ready. A newspaper is instant news – no listening to commercials or having to wait until it’s time for the news to come on.

Although it’s been nearly a decade since I enjoyed being part of producing a newspaper, I will forever be a fan of the printed product.

This Fourth of July get your hands a little dirty and enjoy your freedom – read a newspaper.

Sandy Turner lives in Independence. Email her at sandydownhome@hotmail.com.