Letter from the Editor: Building on 20 years of trust
By Kris Leonhardt
I have a valuable circle of friends in local media of whom I rely on quite heavily – one has retired out of journalism after a storied career in local media, several are publishers, and my closest ally has spent nearly 30 years in local broadcasting.
It is with the latter that I went to see the movie “The Post” when it came out in theaters. Since that night, we have watched the movie several times and had multiple conversations on the importance of journalism, its historical significance, the personal conflicts that working in media creates, and the state of journalism today.
If you have an appreciation of newspapers, you must see the movie firsthand. Without giving away too much, I will touch on one of the most significant parts of the movie.
During the movie, Publisher Kay Graham puts her business at risk to release information that quite possibly could mean the worst for her and her publication. When the risky information came out in print the next day, other publications immediately reprinted the content. Why did they reuse Graham’s publication’s content without hesitation – trust. The publication had the trust of the American people and trust of the other news organizations.
In an era of fake news and distrust among media sources, it has become the responsibility of the American public to decide what is real, what is based on fact and what is opinion. Trust is no longer guaranteed, it needs to be earned.
The 24-hour news cycle has created a situation where reporters clamor to deliver the hottest news in the fastest way they are able. This is a long way from where newspapers began.
The development of newspapers provided an avenue for commerce, entertainment, and information, as well as one of the most crucial functions backed by our government – providing citizens with insight pertaining to the functions of our democracy. This is backed by the First Amendment – freedom of the press.
Trust was behind the development of local publications. Trust was behind the development of the Gazette in 1999. Trust was behind the sale of the Gazette to Multi Media Channels. Trust will remain in all that we do moving forward. Though the integrity of media as a whole is sometimes put into question, local media is here to serve as a community resource, prepared and delivered to you in good character.