Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Fourth Estate Is Worth Preserving

Rachel Maddow wrote this terrific editorial, which I read -- actual newsprint on paper -- en route to work this morning. It's about the importance of local news coverage, and the timing could not be more appropriate.

Not just because it was local reporters who broke the current Chris Christie scandal. But because I'm looking at a bill right now from The Chicago Tribune.

It costs me nearly $400/year to get the Trib delivered Monday-Friday. I try to read it every morning when riding the el. But it's hard. The edition that's home delivered is still a big old broadsheet, which is difficult to maneuver on a crowded train -- especially when I'm surrounded by selfish space hogs who take more than one seat for their tote bags or backpacks.

But that's a superficial reason to give up an opportunity to be better informed about neighborhood and my world, and to support the institution that keeps the power brokers honest. As Ms Maddow writes:

It’s annoying to pay for information — I know. But if you don’t subscribe to your local paper or pony up to get behind its online paywall, who’s going to pay reporters to cover the news where you live? A free press isn’t that kind of “free.” An accountable democracy doesn’t work without real information, gathered from the ground up, about people in power, everywhere. Be inspired by the beleaguered but unintimidated reporters of Chris Christie’s New Jersey: Whatever your partisan affiliation, or lack thereof, subscribe to your local paper today. It’s an act of civic virtue.

1 comment:

  1. I'm now ashamed that I don't read the local weekly paper. I'll pick it up today! You and Rachel are so right.


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