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A Small Paper and Its Civic Journalism Ties

I am not familiar with the Reston Times, but I like the publisher’s appreciation of civic journalism.

He writes in part:

This brand of newspapering, called civic journalism, became a subject of debate in the newspaper industry about 10 years ago. Some newspapers felt that building close relationships in a coverage area led to cozy deals and put a newspaper’s independence at risk.

Others, like us, felt the paper had a social commitment to the community and that the “cozy deals” argument was just a cop-out from doing the hard work of community-building.

Our civic approach simply demands more vigilance on our part to maintain respect for the line between responsible community-building and selling our soul as a real newspaper.

Indeed, managing this wicker basket of relationships is one of our greatest challenges as a local newspaper. We do not bury stories as a favor to government bodies or advertisers, regardless of how closely we sometimes work.

Being a real newspaper, our first loyalties lie with you, the reader/citizen. We cleave to the public interest by hiring real journalists and giving them rope to do their jobs in pursuit of the truth.

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