Several weeks ago when I first publicly, if softly, announced on Twitter that a new online news site was coming to Nevada, one of the most common responses was along the lines of “good, the more news the better” – especially from longtime Nevada journalists:
This is great news for Nevada. Another independent news site with some outstanding journalists. More transparency and more eyes and ears on the state. Wishing @JHughJackson and his team all the best. #journalism https://t.co/CFTVSVQHQJ
— Howard Stutz (@howardstutz) April 26, 2018
Congrats and all the best of luck! We need more, not fewer, eyes, ears and insight. https://t.co/hvATJCgFdN
— Sandra Chereb (@SandraChereb) April 26, 2018
— Jon Ralston (@RalstonReports) April 26, 2018
The more the better. Good luck! https://t.co/BOievKqFyW
— sean whaley (@seanw801) April 26, 2018
The more the better. That at bottom is what this is about. More reporting, more news, to promote the public good.
The decline of local news nationwide is not, well, news. Thousands of journalism jobs have been eliminated from local papers all over the U.S. Here in Nevada, for instance, layoffs and downsizing have sadly rendered the Las Vegas Sun a shell of the newspaper that won a Pulitzer a dozen years ago.
Meantime, the Las Vegas Review-Journal was arguably the most right-wing metropolitan daily newspaper in the nation well before it was purchased by Sheldon Adelson. But it did have many hard-working journalists with a wealth of Nevada institutional memory. Most of the best of those either left or were forced out following the paper’s purchase by the resort industry tycoon, who also happens to be the solar system’s largest donor to the Republican Party. It is true that the R-J has replaced departed staff with new reporters. Some of them are quite good, which, for them, makes it all the more unfortunate that Adelson’s interests, both financial and political, have a habit of making their way into his paper.
And every television station in the state is owned by a giant national media company, a reflection of an industry that has become dangerously concentrated in just a few corporate hands.
Still, for all that, there are many fine journalists across Nevada, in print, on television and online, the latter in particular since last year’s launch of The Nevada Independent. We’re not trying to supplant or replace those journalists in other media. We’re joining them, to help inform Nevadans about issues and policies that matter. Because democracy, representative government and the rule of law can be fragile in the best of conditions. In a climate where they are under direct threat from a president who openly talks about pardoning himself… the more news the better.
When politicians and some media enablers, nationally and here in Nevada, neglect or ignore urgent problems, preferring to level outlandish charges and concoct deliberate distractions, their disregard for facts matched only by their hostility to truth… the more news the better.
When powerful interests dictate public policies that redistribute wealth upward at the expense of everyone else, including and especially women and minorities… the more news the better.
So that’s what we’re going to do. Report some news.
You can learn more about the Current’s reporters on our About page, and of course you’ll become more familiar with them over time – that is, if you’re not already. Each of them has spent all or most of their lives in Nevada. (I’m the carpetbagger; I’ve only been here 21 years.) The five of us combined have been covering Nevada in print, on television or online for more than seven decades.
I will be writing a lot of commentary on this site, and it will always be labeled as such. Reporters will not be writing commentary. The Current’s reporters will do what they’ve been trained to do, and what they’ve done throughout their careers prior to joining the Current: strive to report on important issues accurately.
That doesn’t mean we won’t make mistakes. When we do, we’ll correct them.
Finally, the Current, like all media outlets, really, is a work in progress. We’ll be continuously tinkering and refining. In time we plan to add more features to the site, including audio and video. In the meantime, well, this is our first day. There might be glitches! If you notice any, don’t hesitate to contact us and let us know.