Our words differ, but the sentiment is the same: We are not the enemy.
Last week, The Boston Globe rallied support from editorial boards from across the country to stand as one and mount a counter-attack in response to President Donald Trump’s treatment of the news media.
Although Trump is not the first and certainly won’t be the last public official to blame the media when things don’t go his way, the game has changed in that we now have a 24-hour news cycle and an army of journalists who are ready to draw a line in the sand to stand up for the careers that some have risked their lives for.
After months of countless soundbites claiming “fake news,” and that the media is “the enemy of the American people,” editorial boards decided they had heard enough.
More than 400 newspaper organizations have been welcomed on board to make their voices heard.
On a more local level, The Sealy News has been serving Austin County for 131 years and that doesn’t happen by accident.
Trustworthy journalists, including those here at our offices in Austin County, have followed the rules and fact-checked their articles before publication, therefore abiding by all the responsibilities it takes to be called a member of the media.
We update our local communities on what’s going on at Austin County Commissioners Court, city council meetings, school board and on the athletic fields.
We have great relationships with organizations around us who have been here just as long, doing the same due diligence to make sure what they are putting out is accurate. Even outside of our sister companies, there is an unspoken bond between these small-town weeklies because we are in the same boat, covering the same people and issues.
Recently during a gas plant explosion in Bellville, one of our reporters reached out to the editor of The Bellville Times.
“Who’s your source? I’ve got nothing!” was the text.
The editor responded immediately. We help each other. We’re not competitive. We don’t want each other to fail. We want to deliver the news to the people of Austin County the best we can.
We don’t have tall office buildings with floors of staff members. We don’t have networks of hundreds of reporters at any beck and call.
Yet despite those smaller numbers, we don’t cut corners either. We don’t take the easy way out and just throw something out there and hope people believe it.
Everything that’s publicized has already been ensured to be truthful.
On top of that, we also turn it around and serve as a voice to the people in our letters to the editor section. Anyone who has something to say that needs to be seen on a bigger scale can use our resources to service the community like we’ve been doing for more than a hundred years.
Reporters seek the truth and will not rest until it is found. Sometimes the news is not positive. Other times it can be extremely positive.
But that is the up-and-down nature of our world that you must be able to deal with. Not everyone is going to agree with every syllable that is produced.
Political journalists take the information that’s out there and report on it. Things are going to go sour every so often. It will all be made up for in the good times.
I stand with the rest of my colleagues and note we are not the enemy and we will not be silenced, and we will not stop reporting the truth.
Cole McNanna is the sports and education editor of The Sealy News and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.