Welcome to another semester and to another 10 issues of the Record. As I was trying to determine what to write for this introductory editorial, I stumbled upon a recent series of events that I feel demonstrates why I chose to take on this position.
I am from Maine. Arguably the most famous Mainer is Stephen King. On Jan. 11, Stephen King took to Twitter to protest the removal of freelance reviews of local books and authors in the Maine Sunday Telegram, a weekly published by the Portland Press Herald.
The Press Herald responded to King saying, “These are challenging times for newspapers. But here’s an offer: If you can get 100 of your followers to buy digital subscriptions to the Press Herald, we will reinstate the local book reviews immediately.”
In the course of merely a few hours, the Press Herald had not only reached that goal, but exceeded it. Followers of King from far and wide were more than happy to subscribe to the paper and aide in this endeavor. Across Twitter, readers commented their support for journalists and small town papers.
In response, the Press Herald tweeted, “You all are the best readers anywhere. Sincerely. We’re at our goal. Book reviews will return. We love you Maine. We love you journalists. We love you newspapers.”
When I tell people I am interested in journalism, the response often is: “That’s a tough field to go into right now.” And it is, unquestionably. Newsrooms across the country are struggling, and journalists of all kinds seem to be increasingly under fire. But it’s stories like this one that show how much news outlets—especially local ones—still mean to people.
The fact that so many people rallied together so quickly to save something as seemingly unimportant as book reviews is not just heartwarming. It’s reassuring, especially for those of us directly involved with journalism, to see that it’s not, in fact, all bad news.
Journalists are here to inform and serve you. A successful newspaper is a collaboration. We may be the ones to deliver stories, but you, the readers, are what keep us going. Small papers, including the Goshen College Record, have the unique ability to connect closely with their communities, sharing good and bad news that is relevant to a specific readership.
So send letters to the editor. Comment on the online articles. Let us know your thoughts. I want this paper to represent this community with accuracy. While the audience of this paper may be small, I hope that I, as Executive Editor, can serve you and this paper well this semester.
And next time someone tells me going into journalism is a risk, I’ll tell them I’m well aware of that. It still seems worth it.