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Editorial: We are your neighbors

THE INDEPENDENT NEWS

PUNGO — Newspapers were part of American life before there was a United States of America. They carried news and opinions of the day to the people who would pursue a more perfect union. 

The pieces of what we know today as The Federalist Papers, a collection of arguments for us to become a republic, were first published in our earliest newspapers. James Madison, among those to write under the pen name Publius, told us about the danger of faction while reminding us that we must permit it, but can control its most damaging effects through the structure of our nation, our representative republic.

Encouraging differing views, however unpopular they may be, is American to the core. We are not to be oppressed but governed, and only we lend power to those servants who represent us. Some forget the purpose of their borrowed power, in ways large and small. Even the best of the powerful must be challenged.

The Independent News stands now with the newspapers across America that decry the dangerous descriptions of journalists as enemies of the people.

This is a tiny news organization that does not tangle with presidents, but their words can poison local wells, too. We understand what you feel about us may have something to do with how you feel about President Trump. This is a community newspaper, but it assuredly is one that values publishing original journalism and commentary, including some that is critical of people with power. 

The Independent News values speech, even speech some of us may find disagreeable or which challenges our preconceptions and biases. In addition to our news report, we publish columns by Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals, and people in between.

We have even published opinions that challenge efforts to maintain a future for our farming community, a constituency for which we, given our readership and purpose in southern Virginia Beach, clearly advocate. 

Faith is part of our communities, which is why many faiths have been reflected on our pages. We recognize that race is part of our continuing conversation, and that history is long and complex, that it influences current events and our futures.

We reflect these topics in our coverage because local conversations touch our lives as directly as national ones.

We believe in your freedoms and your dreams. We understand the tensions between development and rural life, limited public dollars and needs, and competing philosophies of government priorities.

We realize that those with power, especially power that can influence their own self-interests, may use it to benefit a lucky few at the expense of others. 

This is why we are not stenographers but journalists. We must challenge information that may be inaccurate or misleading when we know it to be so. And we challenge poisonous stereotypes about race, class, faith and the erasure or simplification of both shared and individual history.

Sometimes we get it wrong. Ethical people work to overcome shortcomings, correct errors, publish rebuttals and understand that others are welcome to disagree and think critically.

We are not the enemy; we are your neighbors.

We are veterans, parents, teachers, farmers, writers and photographers.

We are lifelong locals and transplants.

We are citizens.

We believe in fighting for our union, which can be more perfect, and for our right to speak. Our small piece of the fight just happens to be here.


© 2018 Pungo Publishing Co., LLC

The Independent News

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