It’s been just short of a year since I started writing this column, and for the most part, I have tried to stay focused on what’s going on in the news business in general and at The Columbian in particular.
I’ve been doing this on purpose. Transparency, or why reporters and editors do what they do, is a big issue in our industry right now. It seems like almost every day I see something on social media that makes what I strongly suspect are faulty assumptions about how or why a national story got reported. It is not unusual for me to receive an email or a phone message that makes me realize local folks don’t realize what we do or how we do it.
Plus, there are huge amounts of distrust in what’s disdainfully referred to as “corporate media,” a category in which I would not put The Columbian. We’ve been owned and operated by the Campbell family of Vancouver for nearly a century now, and I have to tell you it’s amazing to have the owners working right alongside of you every day, with the same goal of running a sustainable business that provides good, local jobs and makes our community better.
I realize not everyone agrees with my column’s focus. After last week’s column, I got a long and thoughtful note from a longtime reader. She writes:
“I have seen three or four of your recent articles in a very short period of time explaining what you do, why, how things operate on the paper, etc. And to ME it is boring and unnecessary. I personally do not care how things work, just that they DO work. … I thought the purpose of your column was for you as editor to give us YOUR insight on what is happening in our community, our town and county, in regard to local government, local politicians, local people. … Perhaps I am incorrect in this analysis or purpose of the column, or perhaps the intent or purpose of the column has changed. …'”