The Questa Del Rio News loves February because it’s Love Month. Love is what makes the world go ’round, despite what scientists say about the Earth’s rotation… We love what we do, and we also love the communities we serve. And we love our readers—please be our Valentines!
Because of you and your support of our special brand of community journalism, the Questa Del Rio News is entering its fifth year of publication. We first published a small newsletter in February of 2018—does anyone remember?
Q: Who starts a small-town newspaper in the early 21st century, when most local newsrooms are shutting down?
A: Well… that was us.
Over 25% of local newspapers have folded in the last 15 years. Independent media is a cornerstone of democracy and local journalism is the most trusted news source. Half of American newspapers are now owned by corporate giants. With the push for profits, journalists have lost their jobs and local news goes unreported. Rural areas are home to “news deserts,” a vast array of the American landscape without news coverage. With the pandemic, news deserts have spread even more.
The Atlantic says of the corporate takeover of journalism: “This investment strategy does not come without social consequences. When a local newspaper vanishes… it tends to correspond with lower voter turnout, increased polarization, and a general erosion of civic engagement. Misinformation proliferates. City budgets balloon, along with corruption and dysfunction. The consequences can influence national politics as well…”
It hasn’t been easy for the Questa Del Rio News and we haven’t been shy about asking for help. It was a grand experiment for us to introduce our paper, and we are going strong! Some February in the future the Questa Del Rio News will celebrate its 100th birthday. Questeños love their history!
So, yes, we are celebrating our fourth birthday. In this age of uncertainty, not having parties is the norm; let’s have a party this summer. In the meantime, please keep reading our paper, answer our survey on the next page or online, and let us hear from you. Thank you for your continued support. We are here for you.