Local papers work hard

To the editor:

Read Burgan, Lake Linden, had a thought-provoking letter in your Weekend Edition, Oct. 21/22. He makes good points about doing background checks on important stories, such as sales of the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge (KLM) and of the Portage community hospital (a non-profit) to Duke LifePoint (a profit-making corporation).

But in The Daily Mining Gazette’s defense, I look at the masthead and find just two editors and three reporters, plus a sports editor and reporter.

This small staff covers a huge area from Ontonagon to Copper Harbor and on down to Chassell and all communities in between. That’s just not enough people to cover things in depth.

So, when a reporter is hurried, the reporter goes with a public relations press release (hand-out) and takes the story from that source. In the KML case, though, the contributor did also cover the Keweenaw County Board. So it was reported as a sale, with a cooling off period; that is, not yet final.

There’s another rule that governs community journalism (i.e., single-newspaper cities), and that is: “Boost don’t knock.” Community newspapers cannot afford to alienate readers or advertisers.

So, I’d say The Daily Mining Gazette does a good job with its limited staff and resources. I’ve enjoyed reading the Gazette since retiring to this area 11 years ago.

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