This particular month of the year is supposed to be a time to think about and share our many reasons to feel gratitude. This year, the task is made more difficult as our holiday traditions are about to be upended by a virus that's keeping family and friends apart.
Given all that has been said and written about the year 2020, it's now commonplace to remark on just how extraordinary it has been. At this time last year, if you had asked me what the biggest news story of 2020 would be, I undoubtedly would have said the November election. But that was before coronavirus, before the recession, before the killing of George Floyd, before months of protest and vandalism in downtown Portland and before wildfires of historic proportions ripped through our communities.
Now, looking back on the first 11 months of 2020, the election might be seen as the culmination of a tumultuous year. And yet, we still have a month to go.
So, in light of all that, what do we have to be thankful for? I'm guessing you can think of many examples: The medical profession, the first responders, the caregivers, postal carriers and delivery drivers leap immediately to mind. Without them, how would we have navigated pandemic and fire?
More specifically, here at the Pamplin Media Group, we are grateful for the way our readers stepped up to assist us as we covered how the events of 2020 affected our communities. More than 33,000 readers have answered our call to sign up for digital subscriptions. Others have made direct donations to a nonprofit foundation that in turn has provided funding for our coverage of the coronavirus.
This support from readers was essential during a year that has been devastating to many businesses — including local media. These readers, along with the rest of our longtime subscribers, recognize that the way forward, especially in a year like 2020, is through community — in the broad sense of the word.
The Pamplin Media Group's goal is to build strong communities through great local journalism. One way we accomplish that objective is by reporting local news that otherwise would be left uncovered. In the November election, people could go anywhere and everywhere to find out information about the presidential election. They also had multiple sources — including the Portland Tribune — to learn more about the Portland mayoral race, or the Metro transportation measure.
But what if they wanted to know the intricacies of the Lake Oswego or Gresham City Council races, the Newberg school bond measure, the Wilsonville mayor's race or any of a hundred or so local races in the 25 communities we cover? In those cases, we are the only media paying more than cursory attention.
It takes a lot of resources — reporters, editors and photographers, among many others — to be able to cover communities at such a granular level. We are able to continue because of the support of readers and advertisers. So, as we enter the holiday season, I want to offer a sincere thanks to all the readers who've helped us this year. Local journalism is valuable in itself, but it becomes essential when it is deployed for the purpose of strengthening communities.
Your continued support (gift subscriptions are available!) will help us in that endeavor.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.