‘Why We Must Support Local Journalism,’ Congressman Writes
By Adam B. Schiff
Special to the News-Press
Last month, we were all deeply saddened when the Los Angeles Times announced the closing of three of our community newspapers: the Glendale News-Press, Burbank Leader and La Cañada Valley Sun. These papers have played an integral role in our community for years, from informing us about local events to highlighting important work by community members and much more.
These papers have helped knit together the fabric of our communities. They covered our local achievements and setbacks, our challenges and our victories, our community heroes and our heartaches. And over the years, I had the great privilege of working with many of their talented editors and journalists. I took issue with their stories from time to time – as it should be – but I never doubted their professionalism and commitment to our community.
That is why I am so heartened that these papers will be brought back into circulation by Outlook Newspapers.
In a pattern we have seen across the country, local news organizations have been forced to make cuts and lay off staff as online and national news conglomerates have begun to dominate the field of journalism. These cuts not only pose a threat to local journalism but also threaten our democratic institutions. With the absence of local journalism, opportunities for corruption and fraud in local government increase, and the ability to hold those responsible will atrophy.
I am relieved that these newspapers will continue to report and cover local news under the Outlook Newspapers umbrella, a premier organization in the field. Each of these papers serve a great purpose in maintaining the health of our democracy while keeping all of our communities united.
I know that we’re all looking forward to picking up each of these local papers again and reading about the wonderful people who continue to enrich our communities. And as this crisis continues, we should thank journalists for their tireless efforts to inform the public of ways to stay healthy and safe, to cover the ways our society is changing, and for being present in our lives while we are apart.
Adam Schiff, a Democrat, is the U.S. Representative for California’s 28th Congressional District.