This is the fourth in a series of essays from readers/supporters asking you to contribute to the Scene Press Club.
Cleveland Scene is an important source of local journalism and we must support it.
We live in a time when local journalism is slowly, perniciously under attack . Newspaper ownership across America is getting rid of the very people who know their communities best, resulting in lost coverage of issues that acutely affect our day-to-day lives. Like so many other cities, Cleveland suffers from this disturbing trend. Recently we’ve seen the final, wholesale gutting of The Plain Dealer’s unionized journalists. The firing and forced layoffs of seasoned professionals who have added tremendous value and depth to our common understanding of issues in Northeast Ohio. All in the name of corporate profit.
The attack on journalism, however, is not limited to day-trading ownership groups. It is aided and abetted by a high-pressure assault on the free press from the Generous Orange Monarch, the press secretaries who lie on his behalf, his talk radio sycophants, and all the swamp creatures imitating him in Congress and statehouses across the country. They try to distract the public with ad hominem attacks on journalists and claims of “fake news.” They know that good journalism exposes them for the frauds and snake oil salesmen they are. So they want to break the public’s trust in journalism. Their efforts threaten freedom and democracy, leading to the concentration of more power for the very people orchestrating the attacks.
These attacks will not go away. It is our responsibility to defend against them.
Cleveland Scene is digging into local topics that others won’t. It’s highlighting voices and perspectives that don’t make the cut in “major” news groups. And it’s providing a critical perspective our city needs. This does not mean that I agree with every story or perspective from Scene. (Few would.) Everyone should have a critical eye. That’s healthy. And you know what else is healthy? Strong, local journalism
So it’s time to do our part. Sure, tweet your feelings into the void. When you’re done, put your money and values into action. We can’t compromise on this fact: local journalism must exist for the health and wellbeing of our democracy, from Lakeside Avenue to Pennsylvania Avenue.
Whether you read Scene, The Plain Press, Crain’s, or another local news source, support them in any way you can. If you can afford it, subscribe or make a donation.
Our great city will be better for it.
Otherwise, who else is going to report that “Genital Street Signs Are Overtaking Tremont”?