[There is a small newspaper in Vale, Oregon that has caught my eye. It is the Malheur Enterprise. Malheur County is of about 33,000 people. I believe the Enterprise is the way newspapers and honest journalism will survive and grow in our time of propaganda major media. There is a similar paper, The Carroll County Comet, in Flora, IN, in a county of about 20,000 people that follows a very closely similar path.]
The Enterprise has a few points to make:
Why Pay for News: Newsrooms across the country have cut back in recent years. Reporting the news is costly. We won’t last as a business by giving away that work. Here are the benefits of paying for our work.
Be a better citizen: Our award-winning journalists help you stay informed by covering your community — schools, elections, businesses — every day.
Get 24/7 coverage: Every subscriber gets our newsletter and breaking news alerts so you never miss the latest.
Your government watchdog: Our reporting holds powerful officials accountable for how they use their power — and your money.
Trustworthy journalism: We’re open and honest about how we conduct ourselves as journalists.
Clutter-free website: Easily get caught up on news — on computer, phone, or tablet — without the popups or auto play video.
And How We Work as Journalists: We want to be open and clear with you, our reader, about the standards that guide our work every day. We strive to meet every one of these. We never intentionally disregard these principles. When we fail, bad information, speed, or inadequate experience is to blame.
Accuracy: We strive to be certain that every fact — every number, every date, every name, every quote — is true. We will never knowingly publish false or inaccurate information. We will honestly and quickly correct any factual error.
Clarity: We want our reporting to be understandable, free of jargon and vagueness. You can expect us to gather the necessary information and develop sufficient expertise to produce stories clear about issues, agencies, and people.
Fairness: Our stories will honestly represent views and issues, never mis-characterizing or distorting facts and developments. We want those we write about to feel they were fairly treated.
Fact Checking: We follow our own customized fact-checking protocol to guard against error. That includes a requirement to reach out to subjects of stories as possible to verify the accuracy of our intended reporting.
Bias: We know full well that readers now come to news reports suspicious that they might encounter a deliberate tilt by the news organization. Our intent is that you never detect a political, economic, or social bent in the stories we serve to you.
Facts Over Fancy: Our primary job is to gather the news. We devote every dollar we can to reporting. That means we don’t divert time and money into making our stories glitzy or stunning in design. We are certain you would prefer accurate news over flashy presentations.
Professionalism: We can get better, and we will. We will always — always — work to sharpen our journalistic skills. We will become better interviewers, data analysts and writers. Our professionals are intent on getting as good as they can, not for awards but to better serve your needs.
Citizenship: We don’t consider ourselves distant observers. We take pride in the community — its people, institutions, and traditions. We engage in issues that matter. We identify problems, but we will always seek solutions as well. Like you, we want our community to improve, to be welcoming and safe, to be economically vibrant.
Without Fear: Our reporting can and will put us at odds with people who hold power or those who can and do abuse the public in some fashion. We will pursue difficult stories because they are important stories. We will not be scared off of or intimidated from doing any necessary story — ever.
Without Favor: We owe allegiance only to you, our reader. Our work is not done in service to any special interest. We are beholden to no party, no business, no individual, and seek no special treatment from any. We are beholden only to the truth.
Trust: The most valuable possession of our team is your trust. We know we can’t exist without it, that we will not otherwise succeed as a business and as a news organization. We are relentless in earning and keeping that trust.