A duty centered on truth

Published 7:46 am Tuesday, July 3, 2018

A shooting happened at the newspaper offices of the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland on Thursday, June 28, 2018. Jarrod W. Ramos killed five of the paper’s employees and injured several others.

It seems to be quite fashionable these days to be dismissive of the future of the community newspaper. I find that attitude quite troubling as I personally know that everyday in communities around the world reporters and editors work thanklessly to keep us informed.

I firmly believe that local journalists help define a community’s character and identity.

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These warriors sit through city council, county commission meetings and town halls. They cover sporting events and local church bazaars. As community watchdogs, they ask difficult questions of people less than thrilled to answer them.

They shine a light into the dark corners of our society. The duty of a journalist is to research, document, write, and present the news in an honest, ethical and unbiased way. It is hard work and at its heart is an absolute desire to tell the truth.

Journalists are independent voices that strive for balance, accuracy, and impartiality. They report the facts of often very inhumane and brutal stories.

As the heartbeat of the local newspaper, journalists know that everyday at least half of their audience will not agree with what they will be reporting on. Some will call it fake news. Yet, they move forward.

They show up. They fight for the truth.

Today, I want to say simply, Thank you.


Scott Schmeltzer is the publisher at The Tribune. To reach him, call 740-532-1441 ext. 16 or by email at scott.schmeltzer@irontontribune.com.