Businesses, citizens, nonprofits and services organizations all have a stake in good journalism and its survival.
The business community depends on accurate and timely coverage of their efforts to build and sustain Oregon's economy and employment. Citizens need to know that the information is of the best quality, accuracy and, wherever possible, produced by professionals trained in journalism.
Nonprofits of many types, including service organizations, fraternal and benevolent associations, need to know that there is a way to get the word out on the good things they are doing and the reasons for community support of their endeavors.
With the onset of internet, social media and all the other forms of electronic publication, newspapers have the ultimate challenge at this time. With so many platforms now present, including YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and others, the ability for trained journalists and their platforms called newspapers to succeed is problematic.
When Pamplin Media Group and its founder and professional leadership began to collaborate among all their newspapers, in a region such as Portland and the Willamette Valley, it was unclear if the network and sharing by professional journalists would succeed. It was hoped their partnership would fulfill a need and meet the expectations of business, community and benevolent organizations.
We believe it is happening. We here at Rivers of Life Center, a nonprofit education and training organization for youth and young adults, depend upon media coverage to showcase our exceptional youth, their accomplishments and services to the community via print media.
The Pamplin Media family includes nearly 35 newspapers throughout the state. But locally it's neat to see the Clackamas Review, West Linn Tidings, Lake Oswego Review, Canby Herald, Wilsonville Spokesman and Oregon City News sharing the challenges and good things that are happening among those communities. Linking together and sharing together, the news of those communities is interesting, informative and truly making a difference.
It doesn't seem possible to achieve this kind of support or news sharing through electronic media. It's safe to say that the professionalism of research, content and delivery by professional journalists is what our region and country need more of at this time.
Importantly, the sense of community provided by seeing news from Newberg shared in Canby, Wilsonville, Oregon City and beyond broadens the perspective of readers to the needs and accomplishments of those areas.
We are not sure what Dr. Bob Pamplin's ultimate dream was for his many community newspapers in Oregon, but we feel his intent to keep people informed locally builds upon that theme from the 1970s to challenge ourselves and "think globally and act locally."
We, for one, are thankful that his organization has taken this approach. We, for one, hope that many will see the need and value in supporting these efforts. They are the efforts that are sustaining our communities by helping us build toward positive outcomes during these difficult times.
Jerry Herrmann is the founder and Craig Holfeld is the administrative assistant for Rivers of Life Center, a nonprofit organization that provides training and education for at-risk youth and young adults throughout the Willamette Valley.
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.