Every morning I go out to the driveway, pickup my freshly delivered paper copy of the New York Times, and read the news. One must imagine my surprise in turning to the Opinion pages, and seeing my old local paper, The Hays Free Press, quoted as part of mosaic of editorials around the nation condemning Donald Trump’s attacks on and demonization of the press.
I went to the Hays Free Press website and read “We Are The People” and when I finished reading I signed up for another newspaper home delivery.
I’m probably not the type of person one would think of if one pictured someone with newspapers coming to their house every day. I’m 24, I haven’t graduated college (though I want to), and I work at a grocery store. But I believe that a robust and free press is crucial to the operation of a democracy.
But I had been short-sighted. Because I (like many people of all ages) was too focused on the national news. National news is very important, but no one is just a citizen of America. We are also citizens of our states and, of course, our cities.
I’ve lived in the city of Kyle since 1997. I’ve seen this town grow exponentially. I remember when they still used the old city hall and the old library, I remember before the Hays Free Press was in its current building. And yet I found myself unable to name a single elected official on the city or county level.
We all need to be more informed. But we need to be wise in how we are informed. The infinite stream of instant reaction and endless opinions on social media is toxic. It makes us anxious, over-emotional, and suggestible. It destroys reasoned discourse.
Wherever you are, seek out your local paper, give them your money. If you support a free press, then support them. Be informed the right way.