The Bedford Citizen – Our raison d’etre #3

December 15, 2023

In French, raison d’etre literally means “reason for being,” and in English it means about the same. Someone’s raison d’etre is the most important thing to them: Michael Jordan’s raison d’etre was basketball. Beethoven’s raison d’etre was music. A raison d’etre motivates a person; it’s their purpose. 

The Bedford Citizen started 11 years ago. The idea was pretty simple. Bedford once had a vibrant local newspaper that kept our residents informed about what was going on locally. The Bedford Minuteman was in slow decline and by 2011 was really not keeping the town well informed. That was the genesis for the creation of The Bedford Citizen.  

What we didn’t know, but in retrospect is obvious, is that what was happening in Bedford was a national trend with dire consequences.  

In this series we’re going to share what we read, why we do what we do, and what your support, supports.

Another recent story in the Washington Post described what’s happening in northeast Pennsylvania. A hedge fund has bought the local newspaper is gutting it.  

A couple of quotes from the article:

“In the Scranton and Wilkes-Barre region — a population that deserves strong local reporting, is now get far less of that. What it will get, instead, is a newspaper chain that has severed the ethic of public service from the business of newspapering, a breakdown that has already happened in altogether too many American communities…”

“In the context of local news, stewardship itself is becoming a quaint ideal. Over the past two decades, the newspaper industry has suffered a steep decline that has been well-covered by a despairing media. Since 2005, according to a recent tally, the country has lost nearly 2,900 newspapers and almost two-thirds of newspaper journalists; more than half of daily newspapers are owned by the 10 top newspaper chains.”

Opinion  Could the local news crisis get any worse? Look at Scranton.
Washington Post  – Dec. 14, 2023

It’s just the latest example of the importance of a vibrant local media. The Bedford Citizen has not rooted out any major corruption here in town per se, but having local media reporting on what happens within the government makes corruption less likely.

So, thank you for your support.

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