Todd Colin Vaughan/Lacombe Express Editor

VAUGHAN: Local news stands up against authoritarianism, corruption

Supporting local newspapers ensures fairness in society

For National Newspaper Week, it is important to recognize that the free press is still at risk and could go extinct if we don’t act now to protect it.

Newspapers remain by many metrics, the most trusted news source in many parts of the globe — but political forces are working diligently to undermine the right to have a free press in a free society.

The rise of authoritarian populism throughout the world has put the people’s right to know at risk and without candid, loud and financial support for local journalism — our right to free speech could be slowly eroded, starting with the end of local newspapers.

While many parts of North America — particularly throughout the interior United States — have become media deserts, it is important to recognize that communities still value local news and without local journalists, the story of small communities will not be told.

Each community is comprised of local governments, social groups, sports teams, entertainment troupes, charities and each of these groups have vibrant, important stories that need to be shared not only for the present — but for posterity as well.

Local newspapers ensure that communities have access to the present and past, all while being at the vanguard when it comes to information that needs to be known right away.

This is why it is important for citizens to stand up to would-be tyrants who try to convince the world with dime store rhetoric that the reporter posting photos from a recent high school volleyball game is in fact a subversive antidemocratic force or to put it more specifically, “The enemy of the people”.

Local news is, in fact, an avenue that prevents demagogues and protofascists from invading our democracy because it is local news that champions fairness over partisanship; facts over rhetoric; proof over persuasion; and objectivity over subjective want — all of which are the tools of politicians with authoritarian ambitions.

It is true these lofty ideals are the gold standard that are not always met by journalists, but it is important to remember that without local news — no one in the community would be held accountable.

It is accountability that we must hold our leaders to and local news reporters are the first responders when our democracy is threatened by corruption.

Newspapers, like this one, will continue to protect democracy from tyrants — all while ensuring that the unique and valuable stories of each community is told.

Local news is of course fallible, but it is of the utmost importance that democracy and the right to free speech is upheld and local newspapers are ground zero for protecting against the slow rise of authoritarianism.



todd.vaughan@lacombeexpress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Children’s Christmas Shopping Party

Helpful elves: The Children’s Christmas Shopping Party, sponsored by the Ponoka and… Continue reading

REFLECTIONS: They came from Nova Scotia to the pristine countryside near Ponoka

By Mike Rainone for the News The rugged, challenging, and colourful saga… Continue reading

Proposed health care changes would be “devastating” to rural family practice: president of AMA

AHS, AMA and MLA Ron Orr chime in on recent health care announcements

There’s still time to stamp your Passport to Christmas

There are 50 Ponoka businesses participating

Photos: 2019 Ponoka CP Holiday Train stop

Featuring Madeline Merlo and Scott Helman

VIDEO: Led by ‘Marriage Story,’ Netflix dominates Golden Globe noms

Netflix flexed its muscles across all categories, just as it is girding for battle with a host of new streaming services

MP Blaine Calkins: Alberta left behind in Speech from the Throne

Liberal course does nothing for Alberta economy, crime

Would you leave your baby alone to go to the gym? This Canadian dad did

The man identifies just as a divorced dad with a nine-month-old baby

Ponoka RCMP seeking public assistance in locating missing person

Ponoka RCMP is seeking the public’s assistance in locating 35 year old… Continue reading

Lawyer competence includes knowledge of Indigenous-Crown history: B.C. law society

All practising lawyers in B.C. will be required to take a six-hour online course covering these areas

Wealth of Canadians divided along racial lines, says report on income inequality

One interesting finding was that racialized men have a higher employment rate than non-racialized men

Conservatives urge Morneau to deliver ‘urgent’ fall economic update

Morneau says the first thing the Liberals plan to do is bring in their promised tax cut for the middle class

Kovrig clings to humour as ‘two Michaels’ near one year in Chinese prison

Their detention is widely viewed as retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Chinese high-tech scion Meng Wanzhou

Man accused in toddler son’s death inept parent, not murderer: defence

Toddler’s body was found outside Good Shepherd Anglican Church in April 2017

Most Read