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ONA has chronicled history for 75 years

From notorious gangster John Dillinger’s escape from a Lima prison to Gov. Bob Taft’s ethics violations to the flooding that devastated parts of the state last year, Ohio’s leading newspaper association and its members have been right there chronicling history.

The Ohio Newspaper Association — of which The Tribune is a member — celebrates its diamond anniversary this year with a special project that offers an electronic and interactive walk down Ohio’s memory lane.

Based out of Columbus, the Ohio Newspaper Association is a trade organization representing 83 daily and more than 170 weekly newspapers across the state, as well as more than 150 newspaper Web sites.

The Tribune is proud to be a member of an organization that continues to fight for freedom of the press, training assistance, legal advice, advertising services and much more.

In honor of the 75th anniversary milestone, the organization has unveiled a new Web site, www.newspapersmakehistory.com, which features reproductions of historical newspaper pages that memorialize significant Ohio news events each year starting from 1933, the year the association was founded.

“This Web site has been developed so all Ohioans can join us in not only celebrating our anniversary, but to draw attention to the continuing importance of newspapers — in print and now online — to record events in our communities,” ONA president Ken Douthit and executive director Frank Deaner said jointly in a prepared statement.

The ONA’s latest venture offers an interesting glimpse at some of the key headlines across the state in the past 75 years.

Web site visitors can make their voice heard by voting for what they think are the “top five” news events. This enters voters into a drawing for the chance to win $1,000.

Results for the “top five” news events will be announced by ONA in late December.

Love them or hate them, no one can argue that newspapers have been a vital part of the fabric of American society. And though the medium and the market continues to change, the need for accurate news gathering and keeping a watchful eye on government will continue for hundreds more.

Community newspapers will have an ever increasingly important job of providing local news that affects the lives of our communities.

With an eye on the future, it is certainly interesting to reminisce about all that has come before.

And with the unveiling of this special project, it is clear ONA and its members continue to shine seven and half decades later.