A reason to celebrate

The front page of our paper is a little different this week. I hope you noticed…if not, then we need to talk.

National Newspaper Week is a celebration of a lot of things, including freedom of the press, and that should be the most important to you.

We do lots of things for our readers and I’m not talking about the contests and prizes that we offer.

We reflect the community in which we all live, work, play and worship and it’s a job I take very seriously. Sure, we make mistakes. Believe me, we are far from perfect and every mistake that we make leads to many a sleepless night for me.

The difference between what we do as a newspaper and other sources – “fake news” seems to be the common terminology today – is that we acknowledge our mistakes and correct them. Most of the time we offer an explanation for why we got it wrong and we always try to do better.

An example of that is in the budget stories you see this week.

In some ways, our commissioners have a thankless job and I understand that. Budgets especially call for tough decisions and I’ve yet to report on a commission or council or school board that has all the money it needs or wants.

The budget story we did last week was not meant to be the end of our coverage. No, it was simply the beginning. We have always given public officials a chance to comment – we welcome comments of all kinds from citizens to officials, elected or not – on pretty much any subject they wish.

One of our jobs is to serve as a conduit from those officials or agencies to the public. Not everyone can attend every council, commission or school board meeting and it’s our job to present the business those entities conduct, especially when it comes to how your tax dollars are spent. By the same token, we will always give those officials a chance to explain why the decision was made.

As the editorial above states, it is our job to give a voice to the voiceless and power to the powerless.