Letter: Our heroes
On Saturday, March 28, while families worried about having time to say goodbye if a high-risk loved one tested positive for COVID-19 and medical professionals kept mental counts of N95 masks, President Trump attacked the media on Twitter. He gave the ultimatum that journalists disclose their sources if they wanted to remove the burden of being called “fake news.” Journalists are trained to review and evaluate sources; reputable outlets like our local newspapers and public radio hire credentialed and experienced reporters to provide highlights and context to the news that affects our daily life.
As I’m sitting in my quarantine trying to focus on self-care I started reading my local paper each day — I know you all are doing the same because I sometimes have to go to two or three boxes to find a paper by the end of the day. I’m getting inspired by the foresight of Chris Lindley at Vail Heath, the kindness of our own Mikaela Shiffrin and her fireside chat, as well as the local nonprofits working so hard to support our neighbors most affected by the shutdown. What a brave, connected, and playful community we live in.
I also didn’t miss reporter Chris Freud’s note about being furloughed earlier this week or the sudden increase in the amount of Associated Press articles compared to those written by local reporters. I’m worried that the spike in readership isn’t translating into funding that can carry the need readers have for local news they can trust: daily updates to keep us informed of resources and relevant community affairs. The ads aren’t coming in because the businesses are shut down.
Especially during this troubled time, our local newspapers should be funded to provide the local content communities need as an essential service. COVID-19 is the crisis of our generation. As we struggle under Trump’s domineering, unstable and wavering leadership, we need to look toward our helpers; those individuals who are given the hard choices and making the next right choice each time. I can read about my local helpers because of our heroes who put their stories on the page.