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Newspapers connect communities because they report local events. People like to know what is going on around them. They also like to know what their neighbors are up to, and of course to see their names in print. Newspapers give everyone a common understanding, and a common goal.
One of the major things that can connect the various people in a community together is a shared experience. That is, for example, why people who are fans of a given team can feel like a community. They all experience the same things as their team wins or loses. A newspaper can help to connect the members of a community by allowing them all to "experience" the same things.
When I read the local newspaper in my town, it allows me to know more about what is going on in the town. When I know more about what my fellow citizens are doing (through articles) and what is important to them (through letters to the editor), it makes me more a part of the community. It gives me something in common with the other people in the community because we all know about the same things -- we read the same articles and letters.
In this way, we become more of a community because we all are exposed to the same information. This gives us something in common that we would not have if we did not read the newspaper.
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