Editorial: Without you, there is no Albert Lea Tribune

Published 5:00 pm Sunday, August 13, 2017

Today’s empty front page is not a statement made lightly.

In this age of expanding information avenues — many of which range from hyper-partisan to dangerously fake — more than 200 Minnesota newspapers are making a statement about the importance of credible, local journalism practice every day in your communities.

By publishing no news on our front page for one edition, we hope people will remember the important role newspapers play in writing the first draft of history and telling the stories of our community. The initiative comes during Minnesota Newspaper Week and the Minnesota Newspaper Association’s 150th anniversary celebration.

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A 2014 Scarborough readership survey found that 89 percent of Minnesotans accessed a newspaper in print and/or digital format in the past month. Minnesotans of all ages read Minnesota newspapers in print and online.

It’s no wonder that in a state where many read their local newspapers, the population is also civic-minded and involved in activities like voting in local elections. According to state officials, more than 81 percent of registered Minnesota voters cast ballots in the November 2016 election. That’s just under 75 percent of eligible Minnesotans.

While alternative sources present alternative visions and alternative facts, community newspapers take credibility seriously — always have and always will, whether the platform we present on is electronic or paper. This is supported with the very structure of news reporting with editors and reporters vetting stories and photos for accuracy and fairness. Newsrooms are the furthest things from echo chambers. They are filled with professionals ready and willing to challenge each other to get the stories right. And If we stumble, we admit it to the world and press forward, fearlessly pursuing the truth and doing the best we can for our communities.

We take this responsibility seriously, as we do in serving our readers and community.

Without you, there is no Albert Lea Tribune.