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Local papers give you the spotlight, not the ‘junk food’ from cable news

In this day and age of news reporting, people are often quick to dismiss any report that does not reinforce what beliefs they already possess.

A news outlet can accurately report statistics or facts, only to be accused of being “biased” or somehow having “an agenda” or being asked “why do you always print negative articles?”

No. 1, no legitimate news source — including The Sentinel — only prints negative articles.

No. 2, it is not the job of the news reporter to make people feel a certain way. It is the job of the news reporter to fairly report facts.

It seems obvious to most but for some, this is needed. Facts are not opinions.

Now, people often mistakenly equate “fair” coverage about a politician or public figure or entity to printing exactly the same number of positive and negative stories about that person or even worse, only printing positive things. Fair just means an accurate portrayal, not adhering to some manufactured quota.

It would seem the popularity of cable news networks reinforces this idea that a lot of people don’t want actual news, they only want to be told why their opinions are correct.

Think Politician A is great? Watch News Network A because they won’t tell you the bad things he or she is doing. Think Politician A is awful? Watch News Network B because they won’t tell you any of the good things he or she is doing.

The problem is these people who are most popular on their networks aren’t journalists or reporters. They are opinion givers. They are hucksters. They are selling you junk food disguised as news and doing it during the times most people are tuning in to watch. Why? Because that’s what draws in advertisers and makes them money, which is the only thing they care about.

But those networks are not your local newspaper.

Do we express editorial opinions? Certainly. Are they 70% of what you read in the paper? No.

That’s what makes us different from the cable news.

If you believe everything we report should be filtered through a particular point of view, then what you’re seeking is not news.

If you value journalism, if you value fair reporting, we urge you to value what The Sentinel — your local newspaper — is doing. We bring you the information you won’t get from any other reputable source. When you read something in our paper, you don’t have to wonder if Joe Schmo on Facebook knows what he’s talking about or if he’s just posting that because he’s golfing buddies with Public Official X.

We attend public meetings you may not be able to. When needed, we ask the questions you may not be able to. We are the public’s eyes and ears.

We also chronicle the passage of notable events in our area. Over the past few weeks, you’ve seen the photographs of our local high schools holding graduation ceremonies in the most unique of circumstances. You’ve also seen us cover state championships in sports, profile community celebrations and even settle who has local bragging rights during deer season. We also give you an outlet to share upcoming local events, weddings, engagements, anniversaries, birth announcements, birthdays, college graduates, honor roll students, local kids on the dean’s list at their colleges, your opinions and, when the time comes, even publishing obituaries of those who have passed away.

We look to give you not only your moment in the sun, but a way to remember that moment for years to come.

We are a friend to this community and this region and only true friends tell you the truth instead of simply what you want to hear.

The Sentinel has been here for just shy of 117 years because of your support. We hope with your continued support, we’ll be here for at least 117 more.

Support local journalism. Once you do, it’s our job to make sure you’re glad you did.

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