In the spirit of Roosevelt Island Day, we’d like to share a little bit about how we serve our community and why we believe in it.
We aren’t the first to make this observation about what we do: that the best thing about community journalism is that you get to write about people you know – and that the worst thing about community journalism is that you have to write about people you know, but it is worth repeating.
We have to be ready to defend our work at all times. Knowing this interaction will likely happen when we’re racing to Island Wines & Spirits hoping to make the Sunday 7:00 p.m. deadline, three kids in tow, keeps us honest. Simply put, in community journalism, there is no hiding; nor should there be. Our office hours are whenever you run into us. Our office is the Island itself.
Experiencing your community in this way, living where you serve, serves to make you a better journalist. The issues you cover impact you and that fact solidifies your commitment to getting it right.
Not to pat ourselves on the back too much, but we think it is way more difficult to be a good journalist in a small market. (At the least, it is way more complicated). The job of building and maintaining personal relationships is essential to being a successful journalist, but our contacts serve other functions in our lives as well, neighbor being a major one. Not only must we manage the conflicts inherent in our relationships, we also need to navigate how to do so while taking stands on community issues and providing a fair forum for all points of view.
We do community journalism because we believe in the service we provide. We believe community journalism reflects the community, tells its stories, and serves as a breeding place for its ideas and opinions. We believe community newspapers affirm a sense of community; they emphasize connectedness and “us-ness.” We do community journalism because we believe the community members, you, matter.