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Why I donate to support Arlington news reporting

David Levy, a Precinct 18 Town Meeting member, spells out why he donates monthly to support YourArlington.

Dave Levy

In July, Your Arlington has published two excellent articles (among others). One was about the town’s efforts to force our local utility to fix the gas leaks throughout town. The other was about the July 25 meeting of the MBTA Working Group. 

Both were incredibly informative and highlighted real issues with which Arlington residents are dealing.

The updated report covering the MBTA Zoning meeting was one of the best articles I’ve read about an issue in our town in sometime. It highlighted the policy position, the opposition against it and the support for it. And, as we all know, how we comply with this state law is a significant issue for our town.

More than 'both sides'

This reporting is in stark contrast to government reporting I’m used to seeing at other organizations where a reporter will just choose to cover “both sides” without really describing the underlying facts of the issue. Reading those types of articles, one can’t make sense of the issue at all. We’re incredibly lucky we have real reporting for issues as big as this in our town. 

It goes without saying but a town of our size needs local-news reporting. Gone are the days when The Boston Globe had different Metro sections covering different areas of the surrounding suburbs of Boston. Without criticism, it is fair to say The Globe is a different paper today. Noting the decline of local news, Town Meeting voted in favor of a warrant article this past spring to redirect notices and advertisements away from The Arlington Advocate – since May 2022 known as The Advocate & Star -- to other outlets covering local news. 

You may feel differently, but not knowing what is going on in your own town breeds a terrible feeling. You feel like you’re out of the loop. Maybe people are acting in bad faith. Or worse, you feel like you’re finding out about something for the first time and playing catch-up. Maybe you just feel like you’re never getting the full story. These feelings erode our sense of community, trust, empathy and our ability to make our town better. 

Focus on fixing

Further, there are real issues where local reporting can highlight what is not getting done. For example, are our gas leaks getting fixed? Who is doing what to fix them? Can we do more?

That is why I subscribe every month to YourArlington. I pay $25 a month and happily do it. YourArlington is providing real reporting on the issues in Arlington and the issues going on in Arlington are serious. And I think we need more reporting, not less. 

Having a serious news outlet cover the issues or events in our town only makes us stronger, more engaged in debate and more trusting when we discuss the issues we need to debate or things we need to fix. 

I ask you to do the same and support YourArlington. Sadly, news reporting has been under threat for some time. We can point to various reasons, but everyone can acknowledge gone are the days when our kids would learn to read by reading the sports page or style page or comic page in the morning. No one drops off the newspaper on your front step anymore. And you’re not starting your day by reading a printed paper or taking your edition with you if you commute by bus or train. Times have changed.

But the need for real news has not. So please, support YourArlington and read it. It will make us better as we all continue to make this town a better place.   


July 2, 2023: YourArlington founder steps back; new editors in place 

 


This viewpoint was published Monday, Aug. 7, 2023. The reporter for both news summaries cited is Tony Moschetto.

This opinion supports your donations at work to support democracy here.YourArlington is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.Your contributions are tax-deductible.

 

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