There’s a stigma associated with bad news. I get it. In an ideal world there would be nothing but good news oozing from the atmosphere. Unfortunately, the last time I checked, utopia is not real and that leaves us with two options. We can blindly assume all is perfect with the world and hope for the best, or we can know the challenges we face and work together to be better. There’s more work to the latter but the rewards of enlightenment and progress are astounding.
If you’ve never heard of the investigation into the Bethesda Home for Girls, give it a google, and if you haven’t watched All the President’s Men, you’re overdue. If neither rings a bell, think about the CBS investigative series “48 Hours”. These are instances where we crave the truth and understand knowing, although difficult at first, leads to positive progress — progress that we praise.
Local news is no different, and while I understand there are stronger feelings involved simply because it hits closer to home, it doesn’t change the fact that not knowing is bad for the soul of the community.
This leads me to the question we’re often asked. Why? Why write that story? Why do we publish uncomfortable topics? Why does everyone need to know? Why does that matter?
It all matters. This is our community. This is our legacy.
Your newspaper is the first one to sing the praises of a new business opening or a local rotary award. We literally run the sideline or baseline with your child to snap a cool photo and recap their accomplishments in a late-night run back to work. We headline the balanced budgets and the new court squares. We are the frontline advocates for our communities, even when everyone else is quarantined, because those are the right things to do and that’s what we’re here for.
But please know this: Doing the right thing sometimes includes investigative pieces, uncomfortable pieces and even criminal pieces. Unfortunately, that’s life. What I ask is you take a step back and understand that just because it is uncomfortable does not mean you don’t need to know. It’s actually the opposite. You need to know. You must know. You have a right to know. And then it is each of our duties to work together to be better.