Our new tagline – Print journalism: Because it still matters – seems particularly prescient in light of the recent decision by Verizon to end its arrangement with the Rye Brook-based Regional News Network (RNN) to produce local news channels for Fios cable TV. We see this disturbing development in the context of other challenges to freedom of the press, including increasing financial pressures that have resulted in newspaper closings, mergers and shrinking newsrooms across the media landscape.
As Richard French III, who oversees the RNN news division, said on his TV program “Richard French Live”: “The change implicates the importance of multiple voices in the world of local news. We’ve seen this play out in print where newspapers from coast to coast are simply closing their doors or scaling back and laying off scores of workers. A similar thing is happening in local TV news, closing bureaus or shrinking them so their scope of coverage is greatly limited.”
We at Westfair, however, remain committed to being your one-stop source for complete business news reporting in the Westchester and Fairfield Business Journals and the stories behind the lifestyle articles in WAG magazine as well as across our digital and video platforms. And we’re heartened to see some of our elected officials recognize the necessary role a free press plays in a democracy.
“I encourage all New Yorkers to support local journalism. It’s more important now than ever,” said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “We must be doing more to support these outlets before it is too late,” added New York state Attorney General Letitia James.
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut recently said, “Under this administration, reporters face a near-constant barrage of verbal threats, casting the media as enemies of the American people.” He was among the sponsors of a bill to protect journalists from threatened or actual physical attacks.
And Westchester County Executive George Latimer wondered, “Where will democracy be without a free press?”
Where indeed? We know where democracy thrives – in the pages of our publications.