Oct. 1 – 7, 2017, marks the 77th anniversary of National Newspaper Week. NNW is coordinated by Newspaper Association Managers, Inc., a consortium of North American trade associations representing the industry on a state and provincial, regional and national level. Throughout the week, the journalism community will pause to recognize the importance of newspapers and celebrate their significance. I hope our readers of The Madisonian will join us in considering the importance of our local paper and the value it adds to our communities. Trust us, we have fun, informative content planned for the Oct. 5 paper, which is published in the middle of the event.
This year’s event has an important theme: Real newspapers … real news!
Recently, much national discourse has revolved distrust of the media. Accusations of news being fake and reporters being dishonest run rampant. Fortunately, we’ve been insulated from that conversation at The Madisonian, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t an important conversation to be had.
Many consumers expect news for free, at their fingertips, which can cause people to seek out less-than-stellar “reporting.” The reality of living in a rural area means that is not usually possible, especially if you want current and accurate reporting. Though our neighboring “big city” papers, The Montana Standard and the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, sometimes touch on local news in the Ruby and Madison valleys, they don’t do it regularly and they often do it without having someone on the ground, in our communities.
I applaud their efforts, but they cannot replace the value and benefit of a local newspaper. At The Madisonian, Caitlin Avey and I live in the community, attend meetings, take part in activities and are acquainted with the citizens and stories we write. Though we exist to hold our county and town governments accountable for their actions, we also place a high priority on celebrating our residents, organizations, events and more – living here allows us to do just that.
Every week, we take our job seriously. As stated in the journalism code of ethics, we “strive to ensure the free exchange of information that is accurate, fair and thorough. An ethical journalist acts with integrity.”
Our reporting is honest. It is unbiased. It is accurate, to the very best of our ability. We think what we do each week is important work, and hope all of you feel the same.