Newspaper’s job is to inform community
It is amazing to me how many people are uninformed about the towns in which they live. Just recently, I realized how much people don’t know about what goes on with the budget, salaries and politics in their own town. This made me want to do nothing more than roll up my sleeves and get ready to ruffle some feathers as I start to dig for answers and make sure the citizens in this county are up to speed. Good thing I have a job that allows me to do just that.
Last night, I was talking to my husband about the salary increases in Boyle County where we live when he started to ask me many questions such as who made these decisions? What are they? When did they vote on it? Where can I find out about it or get involved and why did they decide to make those changes? As we drove down the road towards our daughter’s softball game, I realized how many other people probably have the same questions as they rush around in their busy lives and never probably get any answers.
And then he asked me one more question, how did I know all of this?
Because I picked up the local newspaper.
He then made mention about how it is interesting towns such as Oakland and Berkley in California are right next door to each other, although both of them are entirely different. From the streets, to the buildings and the people that inhabit the town it is almost like two different countries. A big reason, I responded, is because of the way funds are dispersed, salaries are increased and programs are cut.
Working as a member of the press, often times referred to as the fourth branch of government, I realize the necessity to remain informed and pick up the newspaper for information. Something that logging onto social media will never get you, and a skill I believe needs to be instilled in the younger generation.
The belief that the news/media has a responsibility to inform the people it serves is thought to be an essential function of a healthy democracy. Journalists were never intended to bring forth “fake news,” or simply report on one subject, but rather take an unbiased stance answering those questions such as who, what, when, where and why, so that the community is informed and can exercise checks and balances with its local and national government making sure politicians serve the people like they were intended.
Such information and facts cannot be found by scrolling through Facebook and looking at news feeds. Citizens finally need to become involved, follow and read their local newspapers and become more informed about what is happening in the town around them and with the people they have hired to serve them.
With campaign season in full bloom, it is interesting to sit back and watch as politicians seem to want all the attention for about the next month. From going door to door and shaking hands on street corners wanting everyone’s help at re-election, they then retreat and are hardly ever heard of again after. Tending to go from wanting all the publicity they can to not wanting anyone to know what they are doing or how they are doing it, it becomes the local newspapers job to open back up the door and continue to keep the community involved and informed in a way the newspaper only can.
If I hadn’t realized it before, it hit me last night why it is so important that we save the press, keep the local newspaper and make sure it is run correctly so the people in the community are well aware of everything going on in the town they live in.
I got into journalism because I loved writing. I built my way up covering many topics and have written my fair share of features, crime and even covered sports from time to time. I have reported on many topics including government and politics and breaking news. Although now, more than ever, I realize the need to dive deeper into the seemingly closed doors in the community and crack them open shedding light on many topics, even if the powers that be do not like it.
A newspaper serves the people in the community much like those in charge promised to when elected. The people in Jessamine County deserve to be informed, and as long as I am here I will make sure they are by answering those five questions everyone wants to know, making the local newspaper a mirror into the world many don’t have the time to explore as they rush around in their daily lives. Journalism might be my craft, but I’ve never been shy and asking questions is what I do best.
Hopefully, with persistence, I can bring the community the answers it wants, needs and deserves.
Brittany Fuller is the community editor of The Jessamine Journal and Jessamine Life magazine. She can be reached at email@example.com.