The Durham Citizen News recognizes that a commitment to diversity is crucial to fulfilling its mission to be the primary source of information for, by and about the Durham Region’s community. Embracing the cultural traditions, beliefs and views of our subjects and audience strengthen this mission.
In upholding our mission to provide full, fair news coverage, the Durham Citizen (News) will: * recognize that majority groups usually have little trouble sharing its views, but that underrepresented groups and new immigrant populations do not often share that position.
Therefore, the Durham Citizen must be committed to aggressively covering these groups to the best of its abilities. — This does not necessarily mean running more stories about “minority” issues and people. These stories are important, but underrepresented groups and new immigrant populations have a stake in various “mainstream” stories as well.
Inclusion is how we unleash the power of diversity. We strive to foster belonging and empowerment at work. We create relevant marketing for our diverse customers. We listen and engage with our diverse communities.
To make the products as relevant to readers as possible by knowing what has happened, what is happening and what will happen in the news
UNC research in the 1970s established that newspapers – more than any other medium – basically determine the “hot button” issues that are debated and voted on in communities large and small. Newspapers set the agenda for public policy debate when editors and publishers decide which stories will be covered, how much coverage will be devoted to certain issues and which stories will be given prime placement and called to the reader’s attention. In addition, the editorial page gives newspaper editors a chance to advocate for certain causes.
This “agenda-setting” role is especially important in a digital age when readers often suffer from information overload. In the beginning of the Internet Age, most observers assumed the digital revolution would provide citizens with technological tools that would make government and democracy even more transparent. But, as the past decade has shown, most citizens rarely have the know-how, tenacity, and resources to pursue and investigate complex policy issues and their far-ranging implications.
What is often missing from blogs and other sources of citizen journalism is the context and analysis that professional reporters and editors have historically provided. Or, as a state legislator put it, “I trust the editors at the paper – more than any other source – to tell me what is bubbling below the surface that I might have missed. They tie it together and tell me whether it is really an issue or a personal beef of some blogger.” post it here. A good mission statement tells you what drives a company to do what it does.
Newspapers encourage economic vitality in a region by providing a marketplace for readers and advertisers to connect. Market surveys have shown that, even in a “digital” age, most people buy goods and services close to home. So there is still a need for a central marketplace that allows local merchants to inform current and potential customers about the multiple products and services available in the area.
Dozens of advertisers interviewed by UNC over the last four years expressed a desire to support the local newspaper. As one advertiser put it, “I realize that it is important for this community – and for my business and other small businesses – for the newspaper to survive.”
Journalists on the paper have an equally important role in encouraging long-term economic growth and overall prosperity in the community. Through their “agenda-setting” function, editors and reporters nurture discussion around issues that can either impede or accelerate economic growth. They can highlight underlying trends that help public officials and local businessmen focus on ways to prioritize investments.
And by publicizing a deep-seated economic problem afflicting a region – such as low high school graduation rates – a newspaper helps a community begin to develop a strategy for addressing high unemployment in the region.
Even in a digital age, we still identify politically, socially, and economically with the geographic place where we currently work and live.
Newspapers unite the various political and governmental entities in our geographic region and help us understand what our vote means to the larger community, or why we should be concerned about a certain issue that especially affects our town or zip code. A good local newspaper also informs us of nearby employment opportunities and guides our shopping activities in the area.
It connects us socially with others in the community, who share our passions, our interests, and our concerns. As one reader summed it up, “Even though I’m on Facebook a lot, I still depend on the newspaper to tell me about people in this community I don’t know or know only in passing.”
As this very quick exercise shows, everyone in a community – whether large or small – has a tremendous stake in the survival of a local newspaper. A strong local newspaper plays a vital day-to-day role in influencing the future vitality of a community.
By reaffirming the mission of your community news organization, you will be better able to manage the expectations of customers, employees, and shareholders in the days ahead, and to involve all three groups of stakeholders in a productive discussion about why your newspaper must change if you are to survive the threats posed by the digital revolution.