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The free press stands accused of peddling “fake news” and being “the enemy of the people.” We’re not your enemies, and your local news isn’t “fake.” 

The people who work in all departments of the Farmington Daily Times are your neighbors, your friends, perhaps customers of your businesses. We’re the folks who work day and night in times of crisis to keep you informed. We celebrate the community’s victories and document down times as well. Our paper provides local jobs and pays taxes.

Some would like you to believe that our news gatherers are part of a vast political conspiracy. That’s not only crazy, but it gives us way too much credit for social cohesiveness and organization – you should see a newsroom just trying to organize a potluck. We document revolutions, we don’t start them.

Our local economy has suffered, as has our business. Despite reduced staffing we continue to cover everything we can and provide citizens with a forum to talk to their neighbors on our Opinion pages.

To brand news gatherers as public enemies and purveyors of lies is wrong and dishonest. It’s also dangerous, not just for the physical health of media employees, but to the health of our republic.

Perhaps it’s time to go over what local news organizations are here to do. We’re here to help you find out what’s going on and explore a variety of news articles we hope will enlighten and/or entertain you.

We hope nobody reads a publication hoping to find each printed word in agreement with their world view. Online news consumers can literally pick the kind of news they want to see. Many cable networks, likewise, draw people of pre-set political persuasions and cater to them for ratings. We don’t do that. 

Also, nobody should read the news to lower their blood pressure. (If you do, stop that, you’ll hurt yourself.) 

The nature of community journalism is to delve into the happenings of one’s community. We seek to give back the best and most accurate reflection of events and the most useful tools for community involvement and empowerment.  

Some get mad when any national news story is posted online. We run local, state, national and international news as part of the USA TODAY Network. Our website and Facebook page will reflect this, and the national story doesn’t take away from our local journalism. None of our four news reporters has ever been sent to Los Angeles to track down the Kardashians.

Lastly, we’ll never hide the news from you, local or not, even if we think an article may make some readers angry.  If you don’t agree with what is presented in a news story, remember, some of us on the staff might not like the facts either. But we present the facts. It isn’t our job to only print the news one person or another agrees with. We hope that’s what you look for when you read our paper.

There is an enemy of the people. It lives in the hearts of anyone, left, right or center, who wants to suppress information, kill community discussion and impose a political doctrine on a diverse population. The free press serves as a check on tyranny and corruption.

While we’re doing that, we’ll also bring you your local community calendar and tell you about happenings at the city council. We’re not your enemy, we’re your newspaper, and we’re proud to serve the Four Corners region.

John R. Moses is the News Content Director of The Farmington Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4624, or via email at jmoses@daily-times.com.

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