It should come as no surprise that a publication that has chosen as its name a brand that has been around since the turn of the last century (yes, THAT century) believes in news written and presented the old-fashioned way.
While we will be publishing all kinds of news in this paper, including arrests, developments, fires and political scandals, we tend to lean towards positive news because we think that our readers also want to know about the children, teens, adults and senior citizens who make Escondido work as a community. The people who make us proud to live and work here. We will be unabashedly boosteristic in the promotion of Escondido, its businesses, people and accomplishments.
We love to print the good news of your life, such as births, anniversaries, weddings, and even significant birthdays, as well as the sad news, obituaries. We don’t charge for any of that because, darn it, it’s news, and you should be able to find it in your local community newspaper. Big newspapers often sneer at things like birth announcements. Let them. This is your newspaper. You ought to be able to read the name of your brand new baby on its pages. Give it to us and we’ll print it!
That brings us to you, our readers. We can’t function as a community newspaper without your assistance. As you will read elsewhere in this issue, we need your help if we are to cover local high school sports. We have a small staff and there is no way that we can get to every sports event.
The same goes for other local events. We will have photographers and reporters whenever and wherever possible, but my philosophy is that every one of our readers is a reporter for the Times-Advocate. This is the age of the “citizen journalist,” and while that approach can be taken to an undesirable extreme, a newspaper whose readers feel comfortable with sharing news and photos is a newspaper that will be a valued community resource.
We don’t need you to cover the city council or other governmental and institutional news, but we rely on you for club news, to alert us to news that’s happening at our local schools, and to let us know about problems in Escondido’s 18 identified neighborhoods. Speaking of that, we will soon begin a series of profiles on each of those neighborhoods, so that our readers can become intimate with the diverse tesserae that make up the mosaic that is Escondido.
We’re not looking to pick fights, although we won’t shy away from them. We intend to be a voice for the residents of this great city. A good newspaper is the champion of the community that it serves. That means that we encourage letters on all subjects of local interest, by local residents. Try to keep them 400 words or less, keeping in mind that short and pithy makes the best read. If you’ve got something longer than that in mind, we will consider it as an opinion piece.
We like civil discourse. That means making your point as forcefully as possible without trying to cut out the liver of those who you disagree with. It is possible, indeed preferable, to address the logical points of those whose opinions you oppose without questioning their motives or resorting to the ad hominem attack.
This is an election year, both nationally and locally. We promise to devote a lot of space to both major political parties in Escondido, and whatever small ones there are. We plan to interview and shed light on all candidates for city council and to be a bold force in profiling candidates for the Board of Supervisors. If your issue is not being covered, bring it to our attention.
Finally, we ask your support in this endeavor. A newspaper cannot live without advertisers, and advertisers will not pay good money unless they are getting something in return. If you like what you are reading, you need to seek out the advertisers and thank them for making the Times-Advocate possible.
Freedom is not free. It needs people to fight and sacrifice for it. News is not free. It needs people to care enough about it to fight for it and to have the courage to print it. Never take newspapers for granted.
For as Thomas Jefferson, who hated what newspapers often wrote about him, wrote: “The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”