For journalists, it’s the worst of times. And it’s the best of times.
Journalism as an industry has been in dire straits for years. That’s hardly news.
And Donald Trump’s war on the media and the truth is not as novel as it seems. Lyndon Johnson lied us into Vietnam. Richard Nixon placed journalists on his “enemies list.” Ronald Reagan worked diligently to control every image that came out of his Hollywood presidency while George W. Bush proclaimed “Mission Accomplished” from an aircraft carrier just as the U.S. occupation of Iraq began to implode.
Still, we find ourselves in a uniquely toxic moment where not only are journalists and what they do under attack as never before but so is our society’s collective sense of reality and the idea of solid facts, our building blocks for understanding and interpreting the world and possibly changing it for the better.
It’s also an amazing time to be doing journalism. The stakes have never seemed higher. The issues more urgent. The future direction of the country more up for grabs.
Will we fully embrace being a diverse rainbow nation where everyone’s basic needs are met, including the need to be respected for who you are, where politics no longer caters to the whims of the 1 percent and immense challenges like reversing climate change are fully addressed? Or will a resentful minority successfully assert their vision of a white nationalist ethnostate with liberty and justice for the few?
More people have taken to the streets to protest in the past two years than at any time in American history, according to social movement historian L.A. Kauffman. Voter turnout in the recently completed midterms was the highest in more than half a century.
Here at The Indy, we’ve risen to the occasion. We’ve been on the front lines covering the stories that matter the most from the Women’s March and #MeToo to the struggle to defend immigrant families and communities to the stunning rise of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, whom we featured on our cover this past spring when no other publication in this city even bothered to take note of her insurgent campaign.
Our circulation has tripled to 45,000 in the past two years. You can find our bright red and white outdoor news boxes across the city. It’s 2018 and we also have a snappy new website, are producing podcasts and short videos and now have a weekly Monday evening news show on WBAI-99.5 FM.
We love what we do. With your support, we look forward to doing more great work in 2019.
Photo: Indypendent Editor-in-Chief John Tarleton.