Press Editorial

October 8, 2008

By Staff

Newspapers are key to our democracy

Your city budget is being impacted by the recession, just like you. Graffiti is on the rise, but does that mean gang activity is, too? The house down the street was burglarized and you only found out about it when you read the paper. Are there more empty storefronts than usual, or does it just seem that way? Thanks to an obituary notice, you were able to offer comfort to neighbors.

The television and radio stations don’t cover our 5th or 41st district legislative races, so where can I get good information to help me vote? For that matter, neither do the daily newspapers. What’s a caring voter to do?

Imagine for a minute what your city would be like without its own newspaper. Imagine how many different Web sites you’d have to Google to find out about most of what you read in just one issue of The Issaquah Press.

Then, imagine our country without news media, the only industry given protected rights in the U.S. Constitution. Without journalists, would we still live in a democracy?

Failing newspapers are not new. In just the past year, we’ve seen the demise of the daily King County Journal, and last winter, the city of Orting in Pierce County lost its community newspaper. The losses still hurt the communities they served.

Oct. 5-11 is National Newspaper Week. We usually let it blow on by, but with the world in crisis, it seems more fitting than ever to remind our readers about the importance of newspapers, something you might just take for granted. Whether you read newspapers in print or online is immaterial.

The Issaquah Press is proud to play a role in the strength of Issaquah, and has since 1900. We are your government watchdogs, we provide life’s scrapbook fillers and our letters to the editor are the original blog. We strive for unbiased, fair news coverage and know you’ll remind us if we don’t meet those standards.

Ignorance is not bliss: newspapers like The Press, focused on good journalism, give you a capsulized version of what you need to know about your tax dollars, growth and development, new directions in education, diverse viewpoints and so much more.

But we are not immune to a slow economy. Your readership matters, even more so when you support the businesses that advertise here, paying for your newspaper, keeping democracy alive.

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Comments

One Response to “Press Editorial”

  1. GV Ranch on October 13th, 2008 1:43 pm

    A free press is indeed the most important component of democracy yet sadly we live in an age where just a few individuals control huge media corporations. These corporations introduce unimportant “issues” then support both sides, stirring up controversy and making people think they are getting the proverbial “both sides of the story” when in fact behind the stage they are laughing at the hoodwink because an entire news perspective is never mentioned.

    I travel extensively for work, have family overseas also, and I am amazed at how the media in supposedly poor countries is far superior to what we get in America. While we’re getting celebrity gossip and censored coverage of chosen topics, media outlets in other countries have people on the ground all over the world and give simple unbiased reports on elections, conflicts, policy, etc.

    At this time, by far the finest international news coverage which is broadcast in countries all around the world is Doha-based Al Jazeera. They have American, European, Asian and Arab reporters on the ground all over the world reporting events. I’m a fourth generation Washington State native with no particular bias, I just want news. So what subversive powers in this country have been able to ban Al Jazeera from our airwaves? Scratch the surface of this question, and you’ll get to the root of a serious dilemma we face in getting news. If anyone has doubts, reading this, let me tell you Al Jazeera is excellent reporting and it’s not a bunch of “terrorists” like our mainstream wants you to believe.

    A small, sophisticated, paranoid cabal of individuals with extraordinary interest in portraying Israel in the finest light, is the dominant force in shaping what you see on tv and read in print media. When we’re not watching stories about the artificial threat of Iran, we have “Dancing With A Star” to keep us occupied. This is the giant “forbidden topic” that apparently no media outlet will cover. As just one example, please research House Resolution 362 which was authored by the Israeli lobby, calls for an immediate naval blockade of Iran (an act of war) and our media which did everything possible to prevent any coverage of this. Educated online activists brought to light the fact that both democrats and republicans co-sponsored this absurd legislation without even reading it, and now it’s been withdrawn. Such is the state of our government and media.

    While I can sympathize with any challenges the local media suffers, being in the business of writing newspapers, it’s the systemic conditioning of our American population that carries much of the blame. Do something different Issaquah Press and start an international column the really does report what’s going in the world through a series of reports that includes perspectives from all parties in a given conflict or event.

    When that happens I’ll start to believe we do have an uncensored press. I realize you’re a community paper, but the rotten state of our mass media has created a situation where your reputation and credibility is tainted as being just another piece of the puzzle. I’d encourage you to start a truly unbiased global reporting section, then watch your readership grow.

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