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Igno­rance is not always bliss. And although the incessant news reports about COVID-19 can be dis­cour­aging, it is better to have more infor­mation than none. Now more than ever, this is why, for all the problems pre­sented by the main­stream media, jour­nalists provide a vital service for us.

Ever since the COVID-19 out­break began last year, China’s gov­ernment has silenced those who would speak the truth. As we’re seeing now, the regime has likely been lying about the numbers of those infected, a sus­picion con­firmed by the CIA last week.

In the United States, however, free speech and the freedom of the press are enshrined in our Con­sti­tution. And while our nation’s news­rooms have their fair share of pun­ditry, the majority of jour­nalists are doing every­thing they can to keep the country informed about this pan­demic — even at risk to themselves.

Reporters and pho­tog­ra­phers leave their homes to report stories while the rest of us stay safely inside. They’re out at drive-through testing facil­ities, dis­cov­ering the latest updates on the pan­demic in our own com­mu­nities. Imagine your life — during a pan­demic or not — without this service. What if you couldn’t get reliable infor­mation from any news organization?

Many local heroes have stepped up in our com­mu­nities to help each other during this time. Law enforcement agencies are trying to balance the health of their officers with doing their duty to cit­izens. Healthcare workers are putting them­selves in direct contact with disease to tend to the sick. But we wouldn’t know about all of this without the con­tinual efforts of reporters. That’s why, to the extent that we can, we ought to sub­scribe to our local papers. It ben­efits us, and it sup­ports our nation’s journalists.

Digital sub­scription rates for The Detroit News and The Detroit Free Press are $4.30 a month. Closer to home, a digital sub­scription to The Hillsdale Daily News is roughly the same rate at $4.99 a month. And for the campus com­munity, The Col­legian is free online, though you can pur­chase a print sub­scription. During the pan­demic, we may be spending that much every day on com­pulsive online shopping.

Local news­papers are doing good work informing readers of every­thing hap­pening in their com­mu­nities. Since we rely so much on the news each day, it isn’t too ridiculous a sug­gestion that we finan­cially support the work of our local journalists.