The Daily Item joins today with newsrooms nationwide to address President Donald Trump’s constant labeling of journalists as “the enemy of the people.”
This broad characterization is both wrong and dangerous.
Presidents have had issues with the press throughout our history – though none have expressed it with the persistence and ferocity Trump brings to many of his public appearances and tweets.
We believe it is extremely important to emphasize the important, honest work that most journalists do.
That work is at the core of our democracy. The idea that the nation would be better off without that work is just flat out wrong.
People must know what their governments — national, state and local — are doing and who the people running them are. Without community journalists, that would not happen.
The heart and soul of the media in this country is not the Washington press corps or big city daily newspapers. It is also not the national network and cable TV news or the partisan websites.
The heart of the media is the thousands of community newspapers and magazines, local radio and TV stations and websites.
There are tens of thousands of journalists who care about those communities, who work hard for not a lot of money in most cases, and who do not deserve to be derided or in fear of their personal safety for doing their job.
The Daily Item, like so many publications nationwide, exists to serve the people in our communities.
We are, in print and digitally, the place where you can get the news and information that matters to you.
When a crane collapses and blocks a major road like Route 15, as happened Tuesday night, we are there to tell you what happened, why it happened and how long it will be before it is fixed.
When someone in the community needs help, we let you know about it and how to help them.
We report on the actions of local governments and the impact of those actions on your life, your home, your children, your schools and your taxes.
When those governments don’t act in your best interests, we call them on it. We file "Right to Know" requests. We stand up for you until we get you the information you deserve to have — even if it costs us thousands of dollars, as our fight with city of Sunbury over release of a police department investigation report did two years ago.
We report on community events ranging from school board meetings and charity fundraisers to high school sports, musicals, and bands.
Yes, we provide national and world news from wire services as well, but that is not central to what we do or who we are.
We are not perfect. We make mistakes. When we do, we correct them. Mistakes happen for numerous reasons, but they are never deliberate or malicious. They are not "fake news."
We are not the enemy — unless you happen to get caught doing wrong and would prefer nobody else knows about it.