Opinion

Strong newspapers support democracy | Editorial

As a reader, you value the role that newspapers play in keeping people informed and engaged in their communities.

You also probably understand the pitfalls of citizens not having ready access to news about the place where they live, work, play – and pay taxes.

Like most businesses in this economy, newspapers are working harder than ever. While a number of daily newspapers have closed their doors, very few community newspapers have encountered the same fate.

Local newspapers enjoy strong support from their readerships and their advertisers, and that support translates into continued coverage of important issues in their communities. The Whidbey News-Times is no different.

A local newspaper is key to the success of any community. Local newspapers  fulfill a watchdog role that is critical to the health of American democracy.

With such a strong local presence, the military here on Whidbey Island is always held out as a powerful defender of our precious democracy. But their sacrifices don’t mean much if we, as citizens, fail to do our part. It’s up to the people to maintain their society and system of government that our service members risk their lives to defend.

Individually and collectively, we possess the power to protect and maintain democracy and democratic values. To achieve that goal, it’s incumbent upon us all to be informed and engaged with our community.

Reading this newspaper – indeed, any newspaper – is one way to remain informed. It makes for educated decisions about issues affecting the community as a whole.

As I leave my position as publisher of Whidbey Island’s three community newspapers – the News-Times, The Whidbey Examiner and The South Whidbey Record – I’m pleased to hand over the reins to a fellow publisher who has a strong background in journalism – and strong local roots.

An Anacortes native, Keven R. Graves began his journalism career by interning as a reporter at the News-Times. He went on to work as a reporter at the News-Times before helping to found The Coupeville Examiner in 1995.

I was fortunate to work with Keven at the News-Times in the early 1990s, and we’ve been friends ever since. When I decided to make a career change and return to the field of public relations, I was pleased to see Keven hired as the next publisher here on Whidbey.  I know he will do a solid, honest job of providing our communities with the quality newspaper coverage they deserve.

As the folks who bring you your local newspaper, we pride ourselves in keeping you informed about your community and supporting the continued success of democracy on our local level.

A successful newspaper is rooted in its community. With that in mind, I was especially pleased to return The South Whidbey Record to its hometown late last year by opening a new office in Langley. This winter, we’re aiming to find new office space in Oak Harbor for The Whidbey News-Times.

No matter where you live, and which of the three Whidbey papers you read, we’d like to thank you – our readers and advertisers – for caring enough about your community to support continued news coverage of the stories that matter to us all.

– Publisher Kasia Pierzga

 

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