This week, we in the media industry celebrate National Newspaper Week, and we ask all of our readers to join us.
We use this week to underscore the importance of newspapers – in print or digital form – in communities and their contribution to democracy, their roles as watchdogs of government and their power to mobilize public opinion.
The Durango Herald has made changes this year as the economic foundation of our market shifted and the level of reader interest grows beyond the print medium. Those changes help us secure our future as your community newspaper and continue to be the only daily local news source in La Plata County.
We have settled into our changes and have received candid feedback from our readers and community about them. Our newspaper executives, editors and reporters are always listening to understand how we can inform Durangoans and be relevant in their lives.
We are excited to announce that we have launched a yearlong community engagement campaign called “Thirsty for the Truth.” This effort is part our participation in the Poynter Institutes’s Local News Innovation Program, which is funded by the Knight Foundation and the Lenfest Institute for Journalism. With our campaign, we have identified 12 endeavors we will pursue over the next year as we reach out to engage with our community. Some of our endeavors include:
Creating an editorial advisory board to provide feedback and guidance about our editorials. Look for an announcement this week about who we have invited to be part of the board and what their roles will be.Creating news partnerships with local and state public media outlets. We look forward to soon sharing our work with KSJD Community Radio in Cortez and KSUT Public Radio in Ignacio. Surveying our readers to gauge their advertising and editorial needs.Revamping and expanding our daily newsletter to incorporate more community information that is relevant to our subscribers.Bringing you a new, comprehensive events calendar.Partnering with local organizations for community events, in addition to hosting our own events.The theme of our first upcoming events correspond with the theme of this year’s National Newspaper Week: Real Newspapers ... Real News.
Fake news is not a new phenomenon. There are historical examples of intentional deception long before the proliferation of it during last year’s election and the rise of social media. What we are interested in is making sure our community has the tools to differentiate between fake news and real news. One of the best tools is newspapers – weekly, daily, print, online – created by real journalists.
This month, the Herald will bring you two events about fake news.
We will partner with the Durango Public Library to present “Stop fake news: How to spot it and how to stop it.” Join Library Director Sandy Irwin and me at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 23 at the library, 1900 East Third Avenue.
Two days later, in partnership with the Colorado Press Association, we will host a fake news trivia night at Ska Brewing Co. Come test your chops at detecting fake news – and enjoy a cold beer while doing it. Our “Thirsty for the Truth: Trivia edition” will be held from 5 to 7 p.m.
As always, we are eager to hear from our readers what their thirst for news is. Reach out to tell us.
Thank you for reading.
Amy Maestas is senior editor of The Durango Herald. Reach her at 375-4539 or firstname.lastname@example.org