Subscribe to your local paper instead of national anxiety

Published 3:55 pm Thursday, October 6, 2016

By Abigail Whitehouse

Most people who know me, even as just an acquaintance, are probably aware of my borderline unhealthy love for newspapers – especially the local ones. 
Unfortunately, no matter how loudly I shout that love from the rooftops, it doesn’t automatically make those around me feel the same way. But I go to sleep every night wishing that it did and praying that someday it will. 
During this “colorful” election coverage year, journalists of all mediums, from print to broadcast to digital, have been cast under the wide-netted name “the media” and regularly followed with words like “liberal” “mainstream” or “corrupt” whether we deserve the labels or not. 
One presidential candidate in particular has surely gone out of his way to encourage the generalization of our work and worse, attack the character of those who regularly miss meals, lose sleep and sacrifice their lives outside of work (who am I kidding, we don’t have those) to bring the truth to you. 
The other candidate has a less than desirable tendency to avoid journalists unless she has set the stage and written the script. 
That truth we all seek – that journalists gather – comes at a cost, no matter how small-town or big-city it might be. To get that truth, someone had to call the right people, get accurate and relevant facts and put it all together in a way that every day readers can understand. And in a way that displays the impact it could have on individuals’ lives in their communities.
Sadly, because so many communities have failed to support their local newspapers, many of them have fallen away or worse, they remain, but with an eighth of the staff that it takes to really do the job right. 
It’s not uncommon to find one person doing the job of 10 people and getting paid the wages of one-half. It’s wrong, but not uncommon. 
Perhaps the greatest irony of it all is this: so many of those blaming “corrupt” “liberal” and “mainstream” media for the state of our world today are the same ones who choose not to subscribe (and in turn support) their local newspapers. 
If you want to rid the country of bias, stop supporting the mediums that perpetuate it by chasing ratings and start buying into the work of the tired journalist that refuses to give up on you. 
I am that tired journalist. 
That might sound like a baited hook for your sympathy but it isn’t – that’s to let you know that whether you understand the value of local news reporting or not, I do. And I will work day and night until I have convinced every last one of you Lincoln County residents that the work I do, I do for you. 
So how exactly do we keep our local newspapers from disappearing and fight the corruption of the truth on all floors, from local to national? We start by realizing our role in the grand scheme and where we can have the most impact – right here. 
When local businesses choose not to advertise in their nearby newspaper it sends a very profound and unspoken message to the community about the paper – it says the paper is something the community can do without.
But if businesses expect the community, which typically includes the staff of local newspapers, to eat at their restaurants on their lunch breaks, shop in their stores when they need to freshen up their wardrobe and then refer their friends and families, why shouldn’t the community also expect businesses to do the same?  
As an editor, I am more than aware that in the early stages of opening a business, affording advertising isn’t always easy or doable. But I cannot think of a greater disservice to the community than a successful and profitable business choosing to ignore it’s local newspaper and withhold much needed support that could benefit everyone a.k.a. their customers. 
If it’s unbiased news reporting that everyone is craving, I can assure you of one definite way to make it happen – give your local paper the support it needs to get the job done right. 
Support the people who are working to better your life and grow your knowledge, not the endless string of gossip writers who are now somehow deemed as news writers due to being published on the internet.
Instead of furthering the fluidity of fake news bombarding us in the face daily on line, why not try buying a copy of the local newspaper and reading about issues happening right here in your community? There are plenty of issues, daily, going on around the globe many appear distraught about and want to have a hand in changing – But do you even know what’s going on right in your own backyard? Why not start there. That’s where I am.

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