Print Newspapers Can Still Make A Difference

I used to watch the local television news religiously. Now we no longer have a local television station, but we do have a new local newspaper editor that is stirring the pot.

This is an exciting development. Many years ago, when I was young and cute and wore a much-smaller clothing size, I was contributing columnist for the local paper. I occasionally had a “church” story to cover, but I mostly wrote about food and the military. When people questioned how those two things fit together, I laughingly pointed out that the military is filled with young men and young men really like to eat.

I loved the job.

I wrote feature stories, which meant that I got to talk to fun people about the very things that they were passionate about. Everybody I meet has at least one incredibly interesting story to tell, and it is always fun to share those stories with the world.

However – there is **always** a “but” in the tale – after a while, I started thinking we could use a little bit of Woodward and Bernstein around here. There were some things happening in town that just seemed “wrong” to me, and I thought it was time to mention them.

While interviewing a local social worker on a totally-non-social-service-job-related subject, we started talking about the lack of a homeless shelter in Minot. She gave me a few names of people to contact, and I gathered some info about the looming iceberg. At the time, there were no resources or programs available for homeless people in the city. The editor at that time killed the story, because the official city position was that Minot had no homeless people.

Several years later, the city did start addressing the problem – but if the current editor had been on the job in the 90s, it would have been addressed much sooner. The city still does not have a true homeless shelter, but there is at least **something** available to provide help now.

He has raised some local issues in the paper that need to be addressed:

Poor snow removal in the city

Seriously questionable dealings with the county commission and suspended sheriff

Flood control boondoggle

Seriously questionable dealings with the city council and the downtown parking garages

The horrible new garbage contract

Now is an exciting time to be a subscriber to the local paper. The days of tugging the forelock are over, the gloves are off, and life in Minot is bound to get very interesting.

Hang on to your hat!