Shooting the messenger

-A A +A
By Meaghan Downs

Newspapers are easy to hate.
Believe me, I did.
Once upon a time, I viewed the newspaper as an old, cantankerous uncle with foul breath, whispering unwanted horror stories right before I fell asleep.
But despite what I once thought or what disapproving finger pointers say, that’s not the newspaper’s fault.
Blame human nature.  
Every week I meet, interview and write about those who strive to make the community a better place to live and work.
I like these people, and I enjoy telling their stories.
It’s also the newspaper’s responsibility, however, to tell the truth: the good, the bad and the ugly.
And sometimes, it can get pretty ugly.
When the weekly newspaper prints material about the darker side of humanity, it’s not upholding violence, murder and sexual deviancy as the best Lawrenceburg can offer.
The front page has never and will never represent any sort of standards ruler by which we should measure moral behavior.
We are all too imperfect for that kind of impossible expectation.
We triumph.
We fall.
We get back up again.  
And the newspaper’s duty is to be there, with pen and notepad and camera, to try to capture every angle and aspect of that often uncomfortable journey.
Local media, such as the newspaper, is essential for communities like Lawrenceburg, where rumors could go unchecked and unverified, and important government meetings unattended and unacknowledged.
There’s a Thomas Jefferson quote journalists like to rely upon in conversations like these: “The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers and be capable of reading them.”
Even with the serious gaps of knowledge with the current educational system, I believe The Anderson News is still comprehensible to today’s average reader.
Not only comprehensible, but extremely important as the only consistent source of Anderson County happenings.
The good and the bad.
The uplifting and the unsavory.
I wouldn’t be surprised if some readers don’t believe me.
Or the long deceased Jefferson, who also allegedly said the only reliable truths in newspapers were the advertisements.
After all, I’ve declared myself a member of Team Media, and therefore, can no longer be trusted.
So shoot the messenger, if you must.  
And as the messenger, I’ll be here to let you know that your aim is misguided.