Over the year, we receive many emails and comments from readers, some complimentary, some not-so-complimentary, some downright nasty. As we wrap up 2021, I want to share one recent exchange that has stayed with me.
NancyOnNorwalk sent a fundraising appeal that included this message: “We don’t cover the news to make money, we ask you for money so we can cover the news.”
(It’s true. Nancy’s our only employee; many of us are unpaid volunteers dedicated to keeping local news alive.)
Within hours, I heard back from a reader unknown to me.
You’re kidding, right? You don’t even print comments that don’t go along with your liberal agenda. News? More like propaganda – you are no different than the rest of them.
Although I don’t always reply, this one resonated, and I responded:
I am genuinely curious – where else do you get your local news about Norwalk?
For news, unfortunately, it’s become like the days of old when you relied on neighbors and friends – Twitter and FB can be somewhat helpful – headlines from Fairfield County Business Journal, too. You find something interesting and spend the next half an hour digging around online…
Our exchange continued for a few more rounds, in which we discussed COVID, CT state education statistics and Norwalk BOE financing. The reader had lots of question on local issues, but it became clear that many had been already answered on NancyOnNorwalk. (“Where does the BOE money go?” “What hasn’t anyone spoken about [xxx]?”)
We didn’t solve the world’s (or Norwalk’s) problems, but we came to an understanding: although we might be looking through different lenses (reader skeptical of the news industry overall, and me concerned with the ongoing financial pressure facing every newsroom) – we both recognize the importance of the discussion.
And we both value local news.
Imagine my surprise when, the next day, this once-skeptical reader made a generous donation to NancyOnNorwalk.
*Thank you to all of you who have already!
Best wishes to all our readers for a safe, happy, and healthy new year!