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.