Editor’s note: This letter was submitted to the Curry Coastal Pilot, which, like the Baker City Herald, is owned by Western Communications of Bend. The letter was submitted in response to the company’s announcement last week that it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
The value of local newspapers
The Pilot isn’t perfect, no newspaper, reporter or private citizen is. I have heard complaints about The Pilot getting facts wrong (they will print a correction on the front page next edition), printing letters to the editor that “should not be allowed” and typos/grammar errors. The Pilot is an equal opportunity target and gets criticized from the right, left and all points in between. I have seen way more errors of fact on social media, yet that is the main alternative for local news, if we do not have a newspaper. I know more than a few people who do not subscribe, and rarely read the Pilot, for all the reasons I listed above. I have questioned some of the paper’s coverage and content, but I cannot imagine not having a local newspaper.
The Pilot like most newspapers has been struggling in a rapidly changing market. With the limited resources they have been operating under for quite a few years, I am thankful for the paper they have provided. A local minister in Brookings told me he didn’t read the Pilot. I asked him how do you serve a community without knowing what is going on in the community? It was a sincere question. I asked him where he got his local news and his answer was online; no one online news source, just basically whatever was posted on Facebook. I expressed serious concern; he listened and said he would reconsider. I am asking all to reconsider.
I have found no online source for comprehensive coverage of Brookings and Curry County news/events except for The Pilot. If we do not shop local, the few stores we have will not survive, if we do not support our schools, young families will move. I am asking all to think about the loss of our local newspaper. If you don’t subscribe how often do you see someone post online something that originated in The Pilot? There is a very popular Facebook page for the area that routinely posts content from The Pilot for discussion.
Please subscribe to the Pilot for the next 6 months. Show that Brookings as a community wants them to continue and will support them. No matter what your views of the paper, do you really think Brookings will be better off, without it? You can have the newspaper delivered to your front porch or your laptop or both. Often we do not realize what we have, until it is gone.