National Newspaper Week (Oct. 6-12) seems like as good a time as any to reflect on the importance of good, old-fashioned journalism in relation to today’s changing media landscape.
Newspapers have often been described as the Fourth Branch of the Government. We tend to believe that describing them as the First Branch of the People is more appropriate and accurate.
Newspapers serve a fundamental, vital purpose. There are few other outlets that have the capability of digesting and distributing information that is of the utmost importance to the citizenry as newspapers like the Lincoln Times-News have. We are about as close to the soil of Lincoln County as it is possible to be. That is the beauty of a community newspaper, compared to huge national outlets — we’re able to not only inform our readers, but to relate to them, to experience the news as its happening and relay it to our loyal readers in thought-provoking pieces that you won’t find anywhere else. We don’t have one political party or philosophy that we promote; our business is Truth — the good, bad and ugly.
The reality is that not all newspapers are created equal, no matter how big or how small. The once-sacred standards of integrity, objectivity and professionalism are, in some places, going by the wayside as activists with an internet connection affix the label of “journalist” to themselves and espouse their particular political perspective under the guise of reporting fact.
We take pride in being thorough, professional journalists, and our readers appreciate that stance. We are not the public relations wing of any government entity or political party. When we do relate an opinion on this editorial page, which is the only place an opinion belongs in this newspaper, our aim is not to bolster either Democrats or Republicans, but to point to the path that is best for the citizens of Lincoln County or to take a stance related to a pressing state, national or international topic.
We ask our readers to join us in celebrating National Newspaper Week. Stop by our offices and meet our news staff. Drop us a line and tell us what you’d like to see in the pages of our paper. We’re here to serve you, our readers, and no one else.