News seeks the truth and reports it, serves the public as both a watchdog and a record of history and tells stories of community conflicts and triumphs.
With these values in mind, we recently created and filled a city editor position on our editorial board. Our goal is to increase the Corvallis area’s access to local information, and to expand the amount of stories told, in a climate where independent local news outlets are disappearing.
Our new city editor is charged with establishing consistent coverage of official city meetings, legislative changes, events and movements. We will grow this position while staying on top of campus news. As independent local news shifts and scales back, we are focused on scaling up, expanding and deepening our coverage to cover more ground.
Last year, physical newspaper circulation hit its lowest level since 1940, according to the Pew Research Center. Digital news has seen significant growth in recent years, but in 2017 and 2018, unique visitors to news sites seemed to level off. As many are aware, Mid-Valley Newspapers announced back in November that they would be eliminating the position of editor for the Corvallis Gazette-Times. Additionally, more and more news outlets are being acquired by national corporations, and employment in the newspaper sector is down.
I have always seen news as a framework for reality. By this, I mean that news coverage is the largest source of information about what’s occurring in our communities, what we should be mad about, and well-written stories give us foundations to ask the questions that guide our society. Without news outlets, local, national and international, our society would be weaker and less connected.
So, with this city editor position, we hope to strengthen the foundation of information available to you all, to provide an additional source, and help ensure Corvallis residents and interested parties have access to what’s going on around town.
As always, I hope anyone with coverage concerns or questions will feel comfortable contacting me for answers, and I invite everyone to take advantage of our letters to the editor system to express your opinions, positive or negative or anywhere in between.