This newspaper dominates local news coverage

Of all the reasons why people quit subscriptions to this newspaper, there is one that is far and away the most ridiculous:

“There is no local news in your paper.”

Before we respond to that, allow us to make a few concessions. We’re not perfect. Of the several thousands of bytes that a handful of humans create, collect and compile into stories, images, pages and sections six days a week, there are mistakes: errors of commission and omission, shortcomings due to lack of human and physical resources, glitches, crashes, communication errors, the list goes on.

And guess what — these all happen everywhere else, and not just in every single media operation in the world, but everywhere else. How many mistakes would be revealed at your place of employment if there were literally several thousands of pairs of eyes scrutinizing every bit of your work?

So yes, our mistakes and failures — our “foibles,” as one recent letter writer called them — are more out there for everyone to see and criticize. Our only sincere response is our intent is to do good, but sometimes we fall short, and sometimes sources fall short in reporting news to us.

But that criticism crosses the line and becomes a lie when it is “there is no local news in your paper.” For nearly 160 years, this has been a community newspaper, producing “hyperlocal” news and information before the term “hyperlocal” existed.

Say what you will about the perceived number of content errors (which, given the news staff’s size, we maintain compares favorably to any print news operation), but to say we don’t dominate in reporting the news to residents of the greater Copper Country is patently ridiculous.

There is more we can report, and we’re working every day to do that, but you won’t get all of what we report from anywhere else — not television, not radio, not social media or any other online resource.

That claim is easily supported by the following content statistics this newspaper has compiled from April through September this year:

•Reporters filed 1,428 news stories and police logs, an average of 238 per month. At an average of 25 issues per month, that’s about 9.5 stories per issue.

•Staff took 836 photos, an average of 139 per month, and identified 3,037 Copper Country residents by name, an average of 506 per month.

•How many people from anywhere were allowed to express their opinion and views in their own words in any single media outlet from April through September? Here we published 180 letters to the editor, averaging 30 per month, and published 159 columns from local people, not counting syndicated columnists.

•Those letters and columns covered the whole political spectrum, since that’s the reality in the marketplace of ideas, outside the echo chambers in broadcast and social media, where the real people live. Much to the chagrin of many free expression opponents who fear other people expressing ideas opposing their own, our Opinion Page is open to all views, which is also reflected in the balance we maintain in publishing editorial cartoons. We averaged 42 cartoons per month: eight left-leaning, seven right leaning and 27 politcally neutral.

Other mass media claim to cover local news across the U.P. Sure they do, if your idea of adequate coverage is an occasional snippet of an event or superficial reporting of a fire, crime or court case.

You’re not going to hear about the details of real life that’s happening down your street or at your Village Hall and school. You can only get that from this hyperlocal community newspaper.