As I’m writing this, we have been snowed-in here in Nashville for the last four days and have more freezing rain, sleet and snow coming tonight and tomorrow. I’ve lived in Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont and Ohio before moving to Florida and spending 22 years there. Now that we’ve moved to Tennessee, I’m shocked at how everything comes to a standstill with a little snow. So, the 8-9 inches we received this week might keep us in for a while. And our dog, Dolly, is out to prove that puppies with cabin fever are every bit as frustrating as children.
Our neighborhood roads still haven’t been plowed — and probably won’t be. The limited snow removal resources will continue to clear primary roads, but as a Department of Transportation official told a reporter today, “You’ll probably have to wait until it warms up enough to melt.” That may be sometime next month — or by the time this editorial is in your hands.
It all comes down to resources.
We have seen enough upheaval in news pubs large and small, old and new in the past few months to make my head spin. I won’t bog down this editorial with the names or headlines. We all know them; we’ve all read them. Some of us have written them. Like Joshua Benton’s headline in Nieman Lab: “Is there something worse for a newspaper than being owned by Alden Global Capital?”
Billionaires are proving that throwing money at our industry isn’t the answer. Sooner or later, the money runs out or the billionaires become jaded. And the resources are cut.
So, what’s the answer to the dilemma of what will save our news media industry? I wish I had the magic bullet, but I don’t. Somewhere in there, however, lies the mandate we have all been given in the First Amendment — to protect a free press as a watchdog on government accountability.
Our feature story on “Building an Investigative Team” highlights some organizations doing just that — using their oftentimes limited resources to build a human infrastructure to shine a light in dark places. They aren’t the only ones who are carrying that important torch. However, we hope that, by featuring the processes that some have used to set up their own investigative teams, smaller newsrooms with limited resources may find an idea or two they can use.
No matter where you work or who you are in this industry, your mandate is the same.
We’re here to dig deep, shine a light and hold the powerful to account. We at E&P are proud to be here with you.
Robin Blinder is E&P's editor-in-chief. She has been with E&P for four years. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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