Tag Archives: connecticut

Precedence of Social Change in Print Media

An Analysis of the Precedence of Social Change in the Print Media

In a society as grand, as robust, and as diverse as America enjoys, it would be naïve to suggest that as a society we are perfect. Thus, change is necessary and inevitable. As a society, we not only have a right to pursue happiness, but arguably, an ethical responsibility to do so (Kymlicka, 2001; U.S. Const. amend. I). Although personal improvement is important, many times we achieve this through positive social change.

Positive social change indicates an effort by an individual or a group of individuals who attempt to influence a representative group of society to promote civic responsibility in a manner that might propagate beyond the initial effort to create a civic philosophy that improves the overall happiness of some percentage of society.

Emily Groves (2010), a writer for the Norwich Bulletin, wrote a recent article about the efforts of local community leaders, including Rep. Joe Courtney, to inspire civic responsibility and instill a greater understanding of the history surrounding the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the guiding principles and influences of the Founding Fathers. The program, “We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution” is a part of a national project of The Center for Civic Education.

In this front page article, Groves (2010) describes the positive impact that both Courtney and the program had on the participants. The high school students who participated were quoted to say that they have a higher appreciation of government and the role that they play as individual citizens.

Perhaps Rep. Courtney’s presence played a part in the article’s placement on the front page, but usually only the most dramatic of news stories find a home here, relegating good will stories to the back sections of the paper (Groves, 2010). The Norwich Bulletin, however, finds its readership located in what is commonly referred to the quiet corner of Connecticut. Good will articles are probably appreciated more here over the common drama of most mainstream newspapers. The Groves (2010) article shares the front page with a child welfare piece reporting an effort on improving conditions for children under the auspices of the Department of Children and Families (Rabe, 2010) and an article about a fundraiser to benefit a Catholic school that was closed (Scirbona, 2010). The Norwich Bulletin is certainly a community-centered newspaper.

If I were a regular subscriber to this newspaper, I would have read this article for a number of reasons. It is well written, well placed, and covers a subject of my interest. I am not, however, a regular subscriber to this or any other newspaper. Lately, I have found more value in searching for newsworthy topics on my own.

As I stated above, change is necessary and inevitable. Print media outlets, in my opinion, would serve their readership well by focusing on more of the positive strides that we take as a community and as a society. Just as we have a responsibility to pursue happiness along with the right to be able do so, the press has a responsibility to report truth, whether fact or opinion, along with the freedom to do so (Kymlicka, 2001; U.S. Const. amend. I).


Groves, E. (2010, September 18). Education: Courtney gives mock Congress real feel. Norwich Bulletin, 150(261), pp. A1, A7.

Kymlicka, W. (Ed.). (2001). The virtues and practices of democratic citizens. In Author, Contemporary political philosophy (2nd ed.; pp. 287-293). New York, NY: Oxford.

Rabe, J. (2010, September 18). Child welfare: Report: Abused children failed by DCF. Norwich Bulletin, 150(261), pp. A1, A7.

Scirbona, C. B. (2010, September 18). St. Mary Church fair: School closed, but Circle of Fun lives on. Norwich Bulletin, 150(261), pp. A1.

U.S. Const. amend. I.

What Would We Do Without Our Natural Resources?

Connecticut has a vast supply of wood and still records the existence of at least 22 operational sawmills (State of Connecticut, 2007). The area produces many different types of wood. The hardwoods produced in Connecticut include red oak, white oak, maple, ash, and birch. The softwoods include red pine, white pine, and hemlock. From the State of Connecticut (2007), “sawmills have played an important part in Connecticut history since the mid 1600’s. Early communities were constructed around working sawmills and their presence assured a steady flow of forest products for use in Connecticut’s homes, farms and businesses” (p. 4).

In addition to the economic benefits, the forests of Connecticut provide important environmental roles, such as the prevention of soil erosion and mitigation of air pollution. “A healthy forest promotes clean air, clean water, and a better-regulated climate” (Flounders, 2006, p. 13). It would be disastrous if Connecticut lost this valuable natural resource, right? Wrong.

According to the Flounders (2006), before the European settlers arrived in Connecticut, the land was a vast forest. The advent and proliferation of farming across the State deforested 75% of the land by 1820. Much of the environmental fall-out caused some of the farms to falter. Industry and the Civil War had even more negative repercussions for the area’s farms.

As an increasing number of farms became abandoned, nature took over (Flounders, 2006). Flounders (2006) describes how ”without human interference, the vegetation of abandoned fields underwent a series of changes” (p. 35) to create Connecticut’s “Second Forest” (p. 35). Ultimately, the original deforestation eventually lead to a forestry boom in the late 1800’s. Currently, Connecticut’s forests “[cover] 1.9 million acres, or 60% of the State” (p. 37).

When dealing with renewable natural resources, the economy is the primary impetus of change. When plentiful, the focus is to utilize the resource. As the resource becomes less available, it becomes more difficult to earn a living producing the resource, and there is more pressure to change occupations. This is purely supply and demand.

In conclusion, the inhabitants of the State of Connecticut relied heavily on the forests before the area was colonized by the European settlers. This colonization required such a use of wood that it resulted in the devastation of all but 25% of the State’s forests. As the wood supply decreased and demand for workers in other professions increased, the land was abandoned and left to a natural course. Forests grew once again, and the land is now well distributed with forests. Though it is not the center of the economy for Connecticut, there remains about two dozen sawmills that continue to produce wood for a variety of purposes. It is important to both consider the ramifications of depleting our natural resources and remember that it might be wise to leave some things to nature.


Flounders, H. T. (2006). Connecticut Statewide forest resource plan. Retrieved from http://www.ct.gov/dep/lib/dep/forestry/forest_resource_plan/fplanall.pdf

State of Connecticut, Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Forestry. (2007, June). Connecticut primary processor directory. Retrieved from http://www.ct.gov/dep/ lib/dep/forestry/forest_practitioner_certification/primaryprocessors.pdf