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Opinion: Why local news media is important: Staying informed

NORWALK, Conn. – If we had a dollar for every time we’ve been told that information was readily available to the public because it was on the city’s website, we wouldn’t need to ask for donations.

OK, I exaggerate. But we’d at least be able to pay the phone bills.

I’m not just talking about Norwalk here, nor am I holding municipalities in general responsible for the lack of technological acuity on the part of the citizenry.

That, however, is exactly why cities should not and cannot rely on their websites – and those useless little legal ads in the daily paper – to keep the taxpayers informed of things that could have a major impact on their lives.

Case in point: Raise your hand if you knew the Water Pollution Control Authority has a website, and how to find it. Then raise your other hand if you found the site and could find any information about its bid to get its permit to operate renewed (it expired three years ago but the state Department of Energy & Environmental Protection has dragged its feet, according to WPCA’s Lisa Burns). There was a public hearing last week, and a public comment period that expired Friday.

This is why we need an engaged and robust news media – not to keep up with the Kardashians, twerking and cute cat videos, but to keep informed about things that affect your life without having to spend hours hunting through dozens of web pages for information that may or may not be there.

And that leads us to The Plea.

Yup, that time again. This being the season of giving and all, we are hoping you might consider giving to us. When you donate to NancyOnNorwalk, you are supporting a small, ma-and-pa independent news site – no corporate overlords here – that focuses on your local government, municipal services, schools and social service agencies, keeping you informed and shining a light on what your elected and appointed representatives are doing, and how they are doing, on your dime.

Very few niche news websites nationwide exist on advertising. We sure don’t. We depend mainly on you, our readers, to pay the bills so we can continue to bring you our reports.

If you wish to help out, click on the yellow Donate button near the top of the page on the right side. Prefer to send a check or money order? Make it out to Englewood Edge LLC and mail it to Englewood Edge LLC, P.O. Box 64, Norwalk, CT 06856. (Englewood Edge is our company name derived from our other site in Florida.)

Thank you for your generosity and your continued readership.

Comments

6 responses to “Opinion: Why local news media is important: Staying informed”

  1. Oldtmer

    You don’t mention credit or debit cards. Are you able to process them ?

    1. Mark Chapman

      @Oldtimer

      Yes. If you go to the donate button, it wells you how. If that doesn’t work for you, contact us at [email protected].

  2. Suzanne

    Dear Chapmans, We do donate and I wish we could send more. No dissing but we substituted our monthly giving to an NPR station we rarely listen to anymore to you – a priceless source for REAL local information that I, frankly, don’t know what this citizenry would do without. I feel as though the constituency is not only better informed but they can and do participate in the process of governing this town called Norwalk because of you.

    So, come on, people. If you are reading and, especially, commenting on these pages, now is the time to give back to Nancy on Norwalk from which you receive so much valuable information. My husband and I have our donation automatically deducted from our bank account each month and it is painless. A small amount even can add up to quite a bit over a year.

    If you have appreciated the articles, opinions or responses, given one yourself or written an opinion or letter, you have participated in a valuable community resource that needs your help. A little can add up to a lot (a lot can add up to a lot, too!) Happy Holidays, spread the love to the Chapmans and we can all look forward to a 2014 with NON on our desktops keeping us informed.

    1. Mark Chapman

      Thank you Suzanne. Your donations and your kind words are much appreciated. I recently saw a Wikipedia donation that if everyone gave $1, it would be more than enough. If all our readers — the one-timers as well as regulars — gave $1 a month, based on our October and November numbers, it would be enough to continue indefinitely.

  3. Joe Espo

    You know, Mark, that the donation-based model of journalism doesn’t make you enough money to survive very long. Idea: increase your fortunes and start a subscription-based premium version of NON; the unbiased version. I’d pay dearly to go behind that firewall.

  4. Oldtmer

    I did and put in my 2 cents worth, by credit card. I think you provide a valuable resource that we need to keep well afloat. You keep us informed and in the process keep our elected and appointed officials on the ball, knowing a lot of people will find out, through this publication, if they forget for a minute who they are working for.
    MERRY CHRISTMAS

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