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Local journalism fills a community need

Local newspapers serve a very important role in their communities: They not only deliver the news of the day, they act as the gatekeepers of information important to the public. They also share the hopes and the dreams of their readers, so that communities can connect, come together and find common ground.

Here, at The Millerton News, we like to think we do that. We try to serve our readership professionally and ethically — printing news and events that make a real impact on you, our readers. We care about what’s important to you. We listen when you complain, we smile when you praise and, most of all, we act when you call upon us. Over the years, we have heard your calls for more coverage of town government, of our schools, of local businesses and of issues that affect our bottom line.  

We have worked hard to fairly inform the public of what’s going on at their Town and Village Halls — of bleeding budgets, of usurped politicians, of contradictory zoning regulations, of broken laws, of unfair policy. We publish the salaries of elected officials, municipal budgets, local laws and ongoing issues. We cover our schools, from safety and security issues to academic programming to sports and extracurricular activities. We attend school board meetings and Town Board meetings so you don’t have to. We are your eyes and ears.

We let you know when there are fundraisers for important causes and events at our American Legions, VFWs, firehouses and auxiliaries, and activities with our nonprofits. We not only give advance notice of such things, we attend them as well and then share reports and photos of how things went. We love doing that. We are a part of the community we are covering — and we feel as if we’re all in this together.

Volunteers, who are so invaluable to our towns and villages, are the heart of our small communities. We give them proper kudos, shine a light on their work and drum up support for their missions. That is as important to us as anything else we do.

We also, at times, have to get our hands dirty. When someone posted hate messages on utility poles in Millerton and Millbrook, we covered it. We aren’t afraid to write about the dark and the ugly so you, our readers, can remain informed. Our goal is that we, as a broader community, can come together peacefully and work toward what’s right. When a crime occurs, we let you know so that you and your families can be safe and on guard. We work with the police, with the schools, with the government, with community groups and organizations and with the public to always get the facts, so that we can inform you, our readers, about what’s going on accurately and in a timely fashion. We make use of Freedom of Information Laws (FOIL) and the Committee on Open Government to access information that’s not readily available. If details are murky, we try to clear the cobwebs away and distill everything down to the bare facts. We owe nothing but the truth, and that we always prioritize.

We also have a light-hearted side. We cover the holidays, from Easter egg hunts at the firehouse and gun club to Christmas pageants and parades along Main Street. We attend the FFA Ag Fair, community days, haunted houses and Valentine’s Day dances. We take hundreds of photographs every month — to share with proud parents, grandparents, friends and family. At this time of year, nothing makes us happier than to place a toothless toddler on our front page with a painted pumpkin in tow.

We love what we do. We’re an independent, community-owned newspaper that supports the mission of small-town journalism in a world of ever growing media empires. We are as much a part of the community as our readers — we live here, we work here and we invest here. Our goal is to document the present and to remember the past. We want to be able to continue doing that for as long as possible, but we need your help. We’d like to know what you value. Let us know through our survey, which has run for the past few weeks in our newspaper and is online, at www.tricornernews.com. Your feedback is critical — your time, appreciated.