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Opinion: The best way to save journalism is investment

Washington Post Letters to the Editor

Originally appeared in The Washington Post.

Regarding the March 16 Style article “Horizon may be wider for Sun’s potential buyer“:

As former publisher of the Philadelphia Inquirer and chair of the Poynter Institute Foundation, I applaud Stewart Bainum Jr. for purchasing the Baltimore Sun. Local media is in crisis. Access to accurate and objective information is vital. The best way to save local journalism is through community investment and support.

Many local publications have not had advocates such as Mr. Bainum when faced with organizations that view newspapers as short-term financial investments rather than community investments. Hedge-fund owners are notorious for reducing newsrooms and creating news deserts that sow misinformation and apathy. Local journalists play a vital role in their communities, holding institutions accountable and exposing inequities. They say all politics is local; all news is local, too.

Amid a global pandemic, tumultuous political climate and growing social justice movement, our nation can’t afford to turn a blind eye to important hometown coverage. A local perspective is necessary to keep people aware of how news headlines affect daily life. By looking toward a model of public-service journalism and local ownership, Mr. Bainum has the potential to give Baltimore the local watchdog, advocate and coverage it deserves.

Brian P. Tierney, Philadelphia