Editor’s Column: Perspective

Niki Turner is the owner and editor of the Rio Blanco Herald Times.
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Niki Turner, Editor

This week is National Newspaper Week, highlighting the value and importance of local newspapers as repositories and dispensaries of information. It’s been a month since I’ve stepped into this role as editor and publisher and I’ve had several people ask me if I feel that social media has devalued the local paper. My response is two-fold. In some ways, yes, Facebook and Twitter and Google+ have been detrimental to local newspapers. On the other hand, as a social media fan myself, I refuse to think the power of the Internet sounds the death knell for local journalism. In fact, I think social media might just be the avenue that rescues journalism from the power of corporate control (something we don’t have to think about very often). For the first time in history, every citizen is a reporter, for better or worse. Personally, I think it’s good that citizens have a voice of their own. Much of what passes as journalism these days can only be described as “yellow journalism.” My recollection of American history from school is admittedly vague, but I clearly recall the definition: “Journalism that is based upon sensationalism and crude exaggeration.” Sound familiar? It’s why we all feel frustrated with mass media these days. Even journalists feel frustrated. Local newspapers are supposed to bypass that kind of click-bait drama. We may not agree personally with what is proposed or presented at town council or county commission meetings, but we’ll do our level best to present the facts and let you, the reader, make your own decisions.

1 Comment

  1. Morning Nikki! I know this is last minute, but I’m going to be at the Commissioners meeting this morning and wondered if you’d like to grab lunch after. Would love to meet you! -Beth

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