This week I've been reminded again of the value of each of our jobs we have in the community, our connection to one another, our responsibility to contribute something and our need to be a small piece of the whole village ecosystem.
The nonprofits all have their calling and it’s one job of Village News to support over 100 of them with at least a press release every month. We understand how important it is to support our nonprofits in town. I appreciate the ones who also support us at the paper.
It’s symbiotic, as with our advertisers and subscribers. We do work for each other and, in turn, we support each other in tangible ways so we can continue our work and contribute to the community as a whole.
We all have our place. This week, a person, who probably isn’t a subscriber, didn’t appreciate our work and called us “worse than Nazis.” Well, obviously this person is displaying their ignorance, anger or whatever, but it made me wonder if he understood that our job and role in the community includes being skeptical and reporting items that may be counter to current narratives.
If we always ran puff pieces, nice features and never covered actual news, our community would be the worse for it, like thousands of communities are today with no newspaper.
Everyone has their bias, but the journalist’s job is to move their personal bias aside and be skeptical, consider both sides or more, and present a story. If they include their opinion or bias, it’s an editorial, like this one. (People regularly mislabel my pieces as “stories.”)
Some people, instead of engaging in debate on the merits of the story on Facebook, just resort to name calling, which to me is low class and possibly hate mongering and bullying. It’s even worse when you find it in news pieces.
I find when people feel powerless because they can’t debate the issue, they resort to name calling. It’s sad. Not only for my “you people are worse than Nazis” friend, but journalists who do the same thing. Notice in your news stories how often negative adjectives are used to describe people. It’s unnecessary and just mean on either side.
The chambers, politicians, realtors, grocers, doctors, mechanics, plumbers, teachers and artists all have their place to contribute to our amazing community and we have ours.
Our job is not just to be a communication hub, but also a provider of news. Our job is to shine light on people doing good things, and sometimes to shine the light in dark places. When someone comes to us, and claims to have been mistreated by an agency, government or another person, we have to be skeptical to do a good job.
When we report on that story, it doesn't make us worse than the Nazi party. It makes us journalists. When we see that our community is being encouraged or forced to do things relating to their own health or their children's health that may or may not make sense, we are asking questions and seeking out answers relevant to the story. While we are advertising where people can get their children COVID shots, we are also communicating the reported side effects. Isn’t that our job?
The fact that a government agency that has been trusted in the past to give us and our doctors unbiased information is taken into account. But it’s responsible to seek out additional available information from other agencies, studies, etc. to see for ourselves if the information is true, especially in light of reported adverse effects, proven fraud, political influence and the drive for pharmaceutical profit.
Does that make us worse than Nazis because we report on studies being published by credible doctors and scientists that show the experimental shots we are giving our children have a much higher adverse effect rate than all the other vaccines combined over 30 years?
When we see people’s freedoms being taken, businesses forced to shut down, or people confined to their homes and children not allowed to attend school, does it make us “worse than Nazis” to be skeptical, report on it and ask questions?
It’s our job. What would make us worse than Nazis would be if we just quietly went along with everything we were told. That’s what good Nazis did. They just kept quiet and compliant.
To be skeptical and vocal is why we exist. It’s why we were given protection in the very First Amendment by the founding fathers who came from authoritarian government societies.
We’ve also been vindicated by court cases that proved we were right to be skeptical.
When someone comes to me and tells me they're being mistreated by the county, the courts or the school district, it’s our job to ask questions and be skeptical and then do the right thing and report on it regardless of retribution, retaliation or name calling.
That’s why we have tools like FOIA requests when we are being skeptical and need to dig a little deeper. It’s just our job. It doesn’t make us hateful or “worse than Nazis.” Sometimes readers may not like what we come up with or a story we do, but name calling is just a sad response.
If you want to post concerns or a differing opinion, not only to the paper, but to each other, please do that. It’s your right, but please do it with respect and humility.
Remember, it's not just the money that we pay each other, it's the work that we do for each other and the verbal and emotional support we contribute to each other that makes our community a great place to live. We won’t agree on everything and we wouldn’t learn from each other if we did.
We all have our work or contribution for each other while we go about our daily lives, including our posting on social media. Let's appreciate and respect each other more, even if we don’t agree. We do live in a friendly village and it takes hard work to keep it that way.
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