Todd Colin Vaughan/Lacombe Express Editor

VAUGHAN: Local news stands up against authoritarianism, corruption

Supporting local newspapers ensures fairness in society

For National Newspaper Week, it is important to recognize that the free press is still at risk and could go extinct if we don’t act now to protect it.

Newspapers remain by many metrics, the most trusted news source in many parts of the globe — but political forces are working diligently to undermine the right to have a free press in a free society.

The rise of authoritarian populism throughout the world has put the people’s right to know at risk and without candid, loud and financial support for local journalism — our right to free speech could be slowly eroded, starting with the end of local newspapers.

While many parts of North America — particularly throughout the interior United States — have become media deserts, it is important to recognize that communities still value local news and without local journalists, the story of small communities will not be told.

Each community is comprised of local governments, social groups, sports teams, entertainment troupes, charities and each of these groups have vibrant, important stories that need to be shared not only for the present — but for posterity as well.

Local newspapers ensure that communities have access to the present and past, all while being at the vanguard when it comes to information that needs to be known right away.

This is why it is important for citizens to stand up to would-be tyrants who try to convince the world with dime store rhetoric that the reporter posting photos from a recent high school volleyball game is in fact a subversive antidemocratic force or to put it more specifically, “The enemy of the people”.

Local news is, in fact, an avenue that prevents demagogues and protofascists from invading our democracy because it is local news that champions fairness over partisanship; facts over rhetoric; proof over persuasion; and objectivity over subjective want — all of which are the tools of politicians with authoritarian ambitions.

It is true these lofty ideals are the gold standard that are not always met by journalists, but it is important to remember that without local news — no one in the community would be held accountable.

It is accountability that we must hold our leaders to and local news reporters are the first responders when our democracy is threatened by corruption.

Newspapers, like this one, will continue to protect democracy from tyrants — all while ensuring that the unique and valuable stories of each community is told.

Local news is of course fallible, but it is of the utmost importance that democracy and the right to free speech is upheld and local newspapers are ground zero for protecting against the slow rise of authoritarianism.



todd.vaughan@lacombeexpress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Suspect wearing Batman cap sexually assaults woman on Main Street Wetaskiwin

Wetaskiwin RCMP Investigate Sexual Assault – Seek Information and ID suspect

Wetaskiwin Mayor ‘remains committed’ despite Premier’s plastic bag comments

City council: ‘health of the environment is everyone’s responsibility’

UPDATED Provincial police force demands consideration

UPDATED High cost of RCMP officers discussed recently

Pipestone Family Cafe grand opening Oct. 25

Special buffet events coming up, Trading Post for rent

County of Wetaskiwin concerned about provincial policing discussion

Lack of detail, lack of answers discussed at council Oct. 8

VIDEO: #MeToo leader launches new hashtag to mobilize U.S. voters

Tarana Burke hopes to prompt moderators to ask about sexual violence at next debate

A year after pot legalization in Canada, it’s a slow roll

It’s one year into Canada’s experiment in legal marijuana, and hundreds of legal pot shops have opened

Pot use admission at U.S. border snagging Canadian boomers, says lawyer

A waiver to enter the U.S. can cost $2,000 and isn’t a guarantee

Health concerns over vaping cast haze over Canadian cannabis market expansion

More than 1,000 people in the United States, and a handful in Canada, have developed a lung ailment

Alberta government won’t seek meeting with teen enviro-activist Greta Thunberg

NDP Opposition Leader Rachel Notley urged Alberta’s United Conservatives to meet with Thunberg

Alberta to join B.C.’s class-action lawsuit against opioid manufacturers, distributors

B.C. government claims opioids were falsely marketed as less addictive than other pain meds

VIDEO: Trudeau, Singh posture for ‘progressive’ votes while Scheer fights in Quebec

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, whose party has been on the rise in recent polls, is campaigning in Toronto

Advance voter turnout up 25% for first two days: Elections Canada

Two million people voted Friday and Saturday

In the news: Sprinting to the election finish line and anger amid Manitoba storms

First Nations residents forced to evacuate their Manitoba homes after a recent snowstorm

Most Read