Editorial: A note from Nan — no mike drop, The Record’s mission goes on
The Park Record editorial, Oct. 7-10, 2017
October 7, 2017
Sometimes when I am headed into town, engrossed in listening to KPCW, NPR or a podcast, I will find myself in The Park Record parking lot, even though I may have been headed somewhere else. After 21 years of helping to produce our weekly, then twice-weekly newspaper, and eventually learning how to post our content on the web, I imagine that will happen even after I retire. This newspaper has been the mainstay of my life for more than 35 years.
Over the last two months, and especially this last week, I have been overwhelmed by visitors, letters, emails, texts and phone calls from readers and friends who wanted to say good bye and to express how much they appreciate having a comprehensive, source of local news.
I am proud, and grateful, to have had a turn as editor of this venerable, 137-year-old institution. But I know their sentiments refer to the newspaper as a whole, not just me.
In the daily tumult of all of our lives, it is sometimes easy to lose sight of how much our work matters. And it is humbling to learn that it does. That may be even more true in a small town where a small act of kindness can reverberate throughout the community, where regular folks can step into leadership roles that make a difference in their neighborhood, city, state and beyond.
It has been our great privilege at The Park Record to highlight those profiles in courage, to call citizens to action and to encourage a sense communal purpose. But we couldn't achieve that goal without vocal readers or without elected officials who see the media as partners, not adversaries.
Nor could we afford to provide that level of coverage without our advertisers, many of which invest in the paper as much to support its mission as to showcase their products.
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I suspect that some of the outpouring of support for the paper this week is the result of the current siege between the administration in Washington, D.C. and the media. Some of the criticism, admittedly, is deserved but for many of us who treasure the watchdog role of the fourth estate, it is terrifying.
Even here, we have felt the effects of that upheaval. Social media, still not fully understood, can be both a valuable public forum and a dangerous platform for inaccurate news and subversive propaganda. The unbridled vitriol, sadly, has driven many worthy candidates out of pubic service. We hope to help our readers sort out the real from the fake news and to continue providing information in print and online that they can trust.
After more than 2,000 editorials and countless deep conversations with so many diverse residents, I am finding it hard to leave the newspaper, but I know the Record's legacy will continue. And I pledge to do my part. I will continue to subscribe, to read and to submit my own letters to the editor in order to ensure that our progressive, active and compassionate community has a vibrant local forum.