Letter: A plea to support local news
Recently I visited my hometown, a small city in the Midwest. Once a thriving manufacturing city, it has now lost much of the population and vibrancy that it had decades ago. One thing that has been hit especially hard is the newspaper. The city used to have two independent newspapers, which were printed in the city. Now there is only one newspaper, and it is a shell of what it once was. The paper is shockingly thin, with only a few local stories. The rest of the stories are reprints from the AP or USA Today feed. This sad state of affairs takes place in a community whose population is double that of Eagle County.
This struggling newspaper sits in stark contrast to the Vail Daily, which is filled with a rich variety of Eagle County news every day. In today’s issue alone, there is a wide variety of stories about local businesses, recreational opportunities, whether ski areas will reopen, and opinions from local columnists and letter writers. It is easy to take for granted what a great newspaper the Vail Daily is until one visits somewhere else and sees the alternative.
Most of us get national news from the television or the internet. But national news doesn’t cover the things that go on in Eagle County. Without local news, how can a community be informed about issues pertinent to us?
How do we keep local governments accountable?
Who tells us about what goes on in town council meetings?
How do we hear about what goes on in our schools and neighborhoods?
If there is a local disaster, don’t we want to know who is affected so we can reach out to them?
Don’t we want to know about local speakers and events?
Don’t we want to know about people in our community who are doing good things?
Don’t we want to know about people who are doing bad things?
Don’t we want to know about the state of the elk, or grand schemes of developers, or our local athletes shining on the world stage, or the big blizzard, or the opening of a new trail?
The Vail Daily is free to the public, and they depend on advertising dollars. Unfortunately, advertising budgets are being slashed during this crisis. Just like any local business, they need community support. If you value local journalism and you have the means, please consider sending a few dollars via the “donate” button on their webpage. Having a local newspaper makes this valley a better place.