With the bankruptcy and possible buyout of the state’s largest newspaper, the Alaska Dispatch News, and a nationwide discussion about the role of the mainstream media in light of constant attacks by the president of the United States, we need to take a moment to reflect on the mission of the free press. Yes, it’s enshrined in the Constitution as the First Amendment. And yes, we all know that freedom of speech is the hallmark of a true democracy. But another danger to the trust in a free press is the proliferation of unvetted, unedited and unverified stories that are purporting to be news items but come from dubious sources and are freely shared, tweeted, retweeted and perpetuated on social media.
We all need to have assurance from our news sources that they have professional journalists who are trained to put their own biases aside and “find the truth and report on it.” There must be a trust in the editors to weed out the fluff and to make sure that what goes to print is vetted and verified.
For the sake of informed Alaskans, we sincerely hope that the ADN in one form or another survives and continues to be a news source of integrity, deeply rooted in journalistic ideals.
That’s our commitment here at the Nome Nugget to you, our readers. We attend meetings at City Hall and report on the latest proposals that impact your lives. We scoure the Federal Register for regulations that you can comment on before they impact your lives.
We attend sport meets so that you know how your teams fared and we bring you photos of your kids running, playing volleyball and other sports. We share obituaries and weep with the families. We print birth and wedding announcements and rejoice with you in your successes.
We are part of Nome’s history, and we are gatekeepers to its history right here in our archive of Nuggets that tell the stories of Nome and the region. It is a privilege to have our own community paper that reports on local events, meetings and whatever is going on. We are Nome. And we take our mission serious every day. —D.H.—