La Conner Weekly News - Your independent hometown award-winning newspaper

By Ken Stern 

This newspaper's for you

 

December 14, 2022



This is the last week of sending the Weekly News to every address in the La Conner School District. This annual subscription drive is an economic venture: La Conner News Publishing, LLC is a single person corporation, owned by its publisher. The Weekly News is a business, aiming to be profit-making. It is not its owner’s “boat,” not a hobby business.

What an odd duck industry newspapers are. Back in 1789 newspapers were so essential, so vital to the fabric of the nation that our Founding Fathers wove them into the Constitution, the only private, profit-making capitalistic enterprise named, and placed first, part of the First Amendment.

There in the middle is this, joined with citizens’ right to say what they please, no “abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” The whole thing:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The first addition made to the Constitution was to enshrine the right to participate, to say and write what is on our minds and thus to dissent. We are obligated to be critical thinkers, to assess, evaluate, promote better decisions and solutions and insist we be listened to.

That is the press’ job, along with you, the people. What trust to take in forming a nation's government, to enshrine criticism and dissent into the governing documents.

Life is dynamic and change comes through thoughtful criticism and the courage of one’s – the masses, actually – convictions.

The Weekly News is the only Skagit County newspaper with its own editorial voice, weekly sharing its analysis of issues in your backyard and in front of your governments, school boards and homeowner associations.

The Weekly News does not ask for agreement, but engagement and participation. It wants that between residents, elected officials, boards of directors and professional staffs.

The Weekly News trusts its readers, siding with Thomas Jefferson. He wrote:

“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. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers and be capable of reading them.”

On the editorial page the publisher can be way too serious. On every page the purpose is to provide information to the community for the community’s own benefit, be it town budgets, sick birds, concerts at the Lincoln Theatre, boat parades or any of a variety of parades.

In 1789 and 1989, newspapers were the internet of their day. But then came the 21st century and the real internet, the future of all of us, transforming our lives in ways large and small.

Newspapers, which depend on their readers, are no longer the sole source of information. Are they the best source? This newspaper does not provide tomorrow’s tide chart or weather forecast and if you ask it a question it will not respond, unless you call the office.

The Weekly News aims to be a trusted source, an ethical source and always a local source. And, like the art museum, it is a curated source. Everything you read is here on purpose, with you the reader in mind.

The Weekly News’ future depends on trusting that every person is “capable of reading” these pages and understands their value to themselves, their neighbors, children and community – communities.

This newspaper’s for you. If you are not a subscriber, take a chance on your future and consider becoming one.

 

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