COMMUNITY JOURNALISM: Thank you for letting us rankle, inform and serve

“When important stories are not told, community members lack the information they need to participate in the political process and hold government and powerful private actors accountable.”

– Clara Hendrickson, “Journalism in Crisis: Why America must revive its local newsrooms.”


-EDITORIAL-

By Editorial Board


From 2000 to 2018, weekday newspaper circulation fell from 55.8 million households to an estimated 28.6 million; between 2008 and 2019, newsroom employment fell by 51 percent; and since 2004, more than 1,800 local newspapers have closed across the nation according to forecasting site FiveThirtyEight.com.


Not only are there fewer places to work, the working conditions for the average journalist have worsened in the past 20 years.


Right here in Pittsburgh, reporters at the Post-Gazette are on strike over wage cuts, vacation grab backs and higher cost, less comprehensive health care.


Local journalism is in danger of vanishing completely. With a numbing torrent of information, it seems like letting this drop go wouldn’t matter–of course, we see it differently.


We hope the information we provide helps you navigate your day. Many people say we only report the bad news, but there’s lightness in there, too. Our community isn’t just its problems; it’s our victories, too. Anybody who’s thrilled to see their child’s name in the sports section of the paper, or has used an article to find a new favorite place to go knows this.

We’re a mirror and sometimes a guide, a chronicler of a constantly changing landscape. We’re annoying and you don’t agree with us, and you love to tell us when you think we got it wrong.

That’s wonderful too, though, because it means you care. We want to matter to you as much as you matter to us, and that means we’re here to make you uncomfortable sometimes.


People have lamented the political division in our country, sometimes on this editorial page. When everyone uses their most comforting media sources to guide them, our democracy suffers. When we close our eyes to the problems in our communities they get worse.


You deserve to know the people elected to serve you, what they prioritize in shaping our community, and what is done in your name.


We think of ourselves as working for you, and on Oct. 20 we got a performance review. We won the Pittsburgh Community Television Award for Excellence in Local Journalism.


We genuinely appreciate your support of this paper, through advertising, paying to subscribe, reposting our articles and simply reading. You are the reason we exist, and we take our responsibility to you very seriously.


On behalf of our entire staff, thank you for letting us rankle and inform and serve you. We hope to do it for years to come.



0 comments