Viewpoint: The case for Ashland.news

Julie Akins
January 13, 2022

Ashland deserves this

By Julie Akins

Before I make my case, a little background:

The Ashland Daily Tidings served the city of Ashland since the late 1800s, sometimes well and sometimes not as well, but it always reported local news on a regular basis. 

In the near past it reported objectively what happened in our town from the mundane to the surprising —all with a steady hand and reliably. It didn’t pick winners and losers and it didn’t put its thumb on the scale.

Then one day the Ashland Daily Tidings died. 

There was no funeral service, no central place to mourn and no obituary. The paper I once worked for and always loved died under the moniker of a new age of newspapers where opinions could be called truth and where facts were subordinate to a Fox-style right-wing agenda.

It’s made me miss the constancy of a newspaper that does the tedious work of covering public meetings, counting votes and telling us what happened. A newspaper which cultivates sources and checks their facts and glorifies no one in particular — but also vilifies no one in particular — will be incredibly welcomed and helpful to our community dialogue. 

We really don’t need more opinions. We can find them easily. What we need are more facts coherently written, sourced and verified. We need a newspaper we can trust. Ashland deserves this.

And now, as if the gods have heard my cries, comes a newspaper with an editor I know I can trust who will hire reporters without agendas and give to our smart town exactly what it craves: credible, objective information.

Now comes Ashland.news.

It’s such a relief that once again we’ll have a legitimate newspaper of record with objective reporting. I long to spend time reading stories about my friends and neighbors doing the amazing things you do. I am excited to pick up “the paper,” most likely on my phone, and read its stories about what we’re doing as a city and declaring to myself, “that’s fair.” 

I am excited to know there will be an editorial section where residents can equally share their points of view. I know that Editor Bert Etling would never accept anything short of stellar local news reporting and I’m thrilled that a local group of caring residents enable him to bring us our daily news. 

Thank you!

I will not like every story, but I’ll trust the facts presented as verifiably true. I am so glad we’ll be able to return to this type of normalcy.

In my appreciation, I plan on supporting Ashland.news with a monthly donation equal to what I pay the New York Times.

I will never again take local, credible, objective news for granted. I urge you to join me in supporting this vital service to our community.

Ashland Mayor Julie Akins covered the Ashland city beat as a freelancer for then-Tidings Editor Bert Etling.

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Bert Etling

Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Ashland.news. Email him at betling@ashland.news.

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