Editorial: What Shasta County Needs Most

A free and independent news service creates powerful shifts in systems and structures, people and policies. Nothing has more potential to create lasting positive change in our community than trustworthy local news created for the public’s good.

Over the last five years the objective quantity and quality of local journalism has declined not only in Shasta County but across the United States. In the process many of you have lost trust in local news. 

I’m with you. I too get angry when the media fails me, as it often does, by not telling the whole truth. Careless journalism is powerful. It confuses and frustrates. It deepens social divides and spreads misinformation. It makes us less likely to bother to vote and volunteer. It deepens the sense, for all of us, no matter who we are, that we don’t belong. 

Fortunately the opposite is also true. Comprehensive and trustworthy local journalism, created for the public’s good, is powerful enough to change our community, and each of us, for the better. 

The American Journalism Project puts it beautifully: 

“Local news is our most trusted source for information about the world around us. It provides a shared understanding of what’s happening in our city halls, schools and businesses. Local news connects us to our community and to our neighbors. It uplifts voices that would otherwise go unheard. Local news demands accountability of community, business, and governmental bodies. It forces decision-making structures to operate within the public’s view. Local news lends us agency, empowering us with the knowledge we need to make informed decisions about issues critical to our daily lives.”

Good journalism doesn’t just tell us what’s happening, it gives us access to information in a way that helps us understand and make sense of it for ourselves. Great reporting doesn’t tell us what to think but it does give us plenty to think about. Trustworthy local news doesn’t make decisions for us, it shows us how to engage deeply and constructively in our community’s decision-making processes. 

Public service journalism builds a strong and stable foundation of information and engagement that equips us to reach across ideological divides and work together to confidently begin to shape our community’s future.

At Shasta Scout we’re dedicated to strengthening the people and processes of our community. We’re breaking down division and barriers by illuminating the beauty and power of social diversity. We’re sharing powerful stories of hope. We’re creating opportunities for new community connections across social and cultural and political lines. We’re increasing transparent access to the workings of local government. We’re using language with care and accuracy to increase the nuance with which we see each other and our community’s problems. We’re combating misinformation and building trust by consistently and compellingly telling the truth and correcting our own mistakes. 

In short, we’re becoming the local news you’ve been hoping for. The news you’ve been wanting. The news you’ve hardly dared to hope might someday exist. 

Hand-in-hand with our community, we’re building the kind of authentic, transparent, and trustworthy news media organization that can change our community’s future, for the better.

Will you join us? 

As a reader-funded outlet, we rely on donations to fund our work and keep our content paywall free. Do you support free online news in Shasta County?

Help increase access to important information.


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