Wednesday, April 8, 2009

"The power of a simple story in the paper, I think, can still matter."

Over at LA Observed, Kevin Roderick blogs about Daily News sports columnist Tom Hoffarth.

On his blog, Farther off the Wall, Hoffarth had written about the plight of the old Wrigley Field in South Los Angeles where the Wrigley Little League still plays where left field used to be.

That post led to a story in the Daily News which in turn led to donations.

Hoffarth writes:

The intent of the story wasn't to try to drum up donations for this obviously hurting Little League, but that's the interesting residue of stories like this sometimes. You find the goodness of people who see a need and then act upon it...

...The power of a simple story in the paper, I think, can still matter.

For the rest of the story click here and here.

I too believe that a simple story can still matter. I've had a couple queries lately about what more the press can do - well, they can do what they do best - write, report, investigate.

After all, as we discovered this weekend, many people were unaware of the school closure. This sad fact points to the danger of the diminishing press presence and the special vulnerability of small communities like ours at this time. Can you have a functioning democracy without a vibrant press? The public officials who make poor decisions benefit when those decision are known by few -and the people suffer.

If a school closes in the woods and no one is there to report on it - does anyone hear? Does anyone care?

I do know that these are tough times for journalism. I have friends who have lost their jobs and are now faced with devastating professional and personal consequences - but I still pin my hopes on the newspaper I used to deliver and the one I still read everyday to do what it's always done - show people the world, inform them, make them care.


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