Sunday, September 6, 2020

Local News, Local Lives

A moment that made me laugh but also wince this week was this story from the Baltimore Sun:

Here you see a timely news story accompanied by an extremely un-timely photo. The Columbia Association vacated its headquarters down at the Lakefront a while ago. They moved to 6310 Hillside Court in 2015.

This error is not the end of the world but it is a sign of what happens when distant corporate ownership bleeds newsrooms dry, cutting positions while underpaying and overworking those who are left. You have much less institutional knowledge while also having fewer eyes on the final product. Seeing this didn’t make me want to give up on the Baltimore Sun. It made me even more convinced that the paper deserves better ownership.

In Annapolis, employees of sister newspaper the Capital Gazette are inviting supporters to join with them in a protest to the closure of their newsroom by owners Tribune Publishing. You can learn more about the Labor Day event here. From the event page:

Tribune Publishing’s divestment in our physical community presence is a divestment in the people of Maryland. We disagree with this decision because we believe that the country needs journalists on the ground, holding institutions accountable more than ever.

If you are interested in the initiative to make the Sun a non-profit under local ownership, you can read more at Save Our Sun.

It’s not too late to participate in the annual Bridges to Housing Stability Chili Challenge, which is going virtual this year. Sign up to purchase chili meals, and/or make a donation to support their biggest fundraiser of the year. Local restaurants Tino’s Italian Bistro and newcomer The Periodic Table are partnering with Bridges to Housing Stability to help recreate this popular and tasty event in a safe, socially-distanced incarnation, with a virtual Watch Party to enjoy along with your meal. This year there’s also an online silent auction to add to the fun. Interested? Click here and order your chili! 

And one more thing. Erika Strauss Chavarria, of Columbia Community Care, has posted a Labor Day weekend fundraising challenge of $5,000.00 to support CCC programs. They are on the way to meeting their goal but they could really use some community support. You can donate through the following apps:

It takes about $5,500.00 per week to make Columbia Community Care’s operations possible. I learned that and much more in Ana Faguy’s piece for the Howard County Times. 

Fast-growing Columbia non-profit is on a mission of care during coronavirus 

And we’ve come full circle: back to local journalism. Funny how that works.

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