It’s just past that time of year again.
Surely you’ve marked it on your calendar, and have anxiously awaited its arrival for weeks, if not months. It really is the most wonderful time of the year, at least in our sphere.
Of course, we’re referring to National Newspaper Week. It’s okay if you didn’t get us flowers though, your readership each week is more than enough.
Perhaps, however, you’re unfamiliar with the occasion. Let us explain.
It’s a tradition that dates back more than 80 years, to an effort called “Newspaper Appreciation Week” in California in the mid-1930s. The idea, both then and now, was the emphasize the importance of the role and work of newspapers to inform the public, and to do so with integrity and reliability.
That’s what we strive for every day.
Needless to say, these are trying times for the industry as a whole. Newspapers across the board don’t have the financial clout they once did. The reality TV star elected last November uses the pulpit of the presidency to deride legitimate reporting as “fake news,” and legions of his supporters are all too happy to back him in those claims. With fewer reporters and fewer outlets, there are less and less watchdogs to hold officials — elected or otherwise — truly accountable to the public.
And speaking of accountability, community newspapers like this one may be the most accountable to their readers, by virtue of scope alone.
Each and every week, our focus is on the people, places, and things happening in Ballard, Fremont, Wallingford, Ravenna, Roosevelt, Northgate, the U-District, Lake City, Green Lake and Greenwood. These are our neighborhoods, this is our community, and we take great pride in bringing the stories of this slice of the city to you.
Now, it’s true, we can’t be everywhere all the time. Sometimes we miss things, and other times we make mistakes. But when that happens, we want to hear about it. By having the focus that we do, we’re able to change course when our communities tell us to.
Do you have a story that you think needs to be told? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get to work.
In the meantime, we’ll keep trying to be the source that’s there when no one else is, whether that’s a design review meeting for a new development, or sitting down for an in-depth discussion with candidates for the races beyond the heated battle for mayor.
Meanwhile, we have a favor to ask, though we believe it’s a small one. When you see someone share a blatantly fake news story on social media, say something. The only way to stomp out the spread of deliberately untrue, misleading content is to clearly and forcefully reject it when you see it. If we let it go unchecked, it will only continue to grow and cause an ever-increasing number of problems for the public. But you do at least have the power to push back within your own group of friends and colleagues.