Protecting our press, protecting our freedom
LORI ANN REINHALL
The Norwegian American
Dear readers and friends,
As of late, there have been a few questions about our editorial policy, in particular, in regard to our opinion section.
It is important to remember that The Norwegian American strives to present a relevant selection of opinions across a spectrum of political views. We choose our op-eds on the basis of their relevance to what is happening in society today, be it Norwegian-American relations, a special topic or issue theme. We work with a variety of content providers and newspapers, both in Norway and the United States, and, of course, we welcome your submissions.
Our opinion pieces are meant to provide food for thought and to create a healthy debate. While we are not always able to print your responses, we are listening to you. We believe that in a time when people are isolating themselves in echo chambers where politics have become more polarized, this is of utmost importance.
That said, we are extremely pleased to share Sen. Maria Cantwell’s pertinent thoughts on the importance of local journalism and keeping people informed. Since her report was first published in October last year, she has introduced a congressional bill that would provide a five-year lifeline to local news outlets and save the jobs of thousands of journalists.
Sen. Cantwell’s efforts relate directly to what we do here at The Norwegian American. While our newspaper has a national circulation, our efforts are largely based in local communities that we support. We face many of the same challenges as many of their small newspapers. While printing, postage, and other administrative costs have risen significantly in recent years, we know that more readers look to the internet and social media for “free news.” But nothing is free, and the agenda of the large media conglomerates is driven by profit instead of an idealistic commitment to the communities we serve.
I have often said that if each of the nearly 21,000 Facebook followers we have would only send us $1 each year, it would go a long way in helping us meet our budgetary goals. We are constantly perplexed by the results of their mysterious algorithms: is a lutefisk taco, for example, really more important than an interview with the Norwegian ambassador? In contrast to quality journalism, social media appears to provide a random, unverified, and in many cases, falsified picture of the world.
Yes, we love social media, and we hate social media. It can also be a valuable source of story ideas and we make good use of it for marketing, but we have to protect our own interests. It is no exaggeration to say that protecting our press will protect our freedom, in world of false and even sinister information.
That is why we rely on your support with your subscriptions, advertising, and donations. We have come very far in the past few years, but we still have far to go to secure the future of our publication. We thank you for your generosity and support.
Wishing many hours of meaningful reading,
Lori Ann Reinhall
Editor-in-chief, The Norwegian American
This article originally appeared in the Oct. 8, 2021, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.