During what has been dubbed by social media as “corona quarantine,” we’re getting information from all kinds of sources. There are more articles circulating on Facebook about COVID-19 than I care to count. Some of them are good, informative articles about the virus, some of them question the country’s response to the virus and the seriousness of it, and some of them are outright misinformation.
In my news feed, I’ve seen a few local journalists post their responses to those who question the mission of “main-stream media.” I don’t know about you, but when I think of main-stream media, I think of the TV news stations that are broadcast in front of the entire country. I don’t consider any of our local journalists in that category, and I trust what’s coming from most of our local journalists. Why? Because local journalists don’t have the option of being disconnected. We see readers as we go throughout the community. We have to face our readers.
I grew up in East Alabama. I’m a product of Smiths Station schools, and I’ve lived in Phenix City for more than a decade. I’ve been a local journalist for this newspaper for that same amount of time. I’ve reported on local government, entertainment, sports, trends, law enforcement, community members, and anything else that comes across my email or to my desk.
The reporters and freelancers whose names you see throughout this publication have been at this for years. Some for decades longer than I’ve been alive. We’ve worked to earn the trust of our community.
Now more than ever, we’re very careful about what we report. In regard to this virus that has caused millions of people across the country to shelter at home, we want to make sure we’re focusing on the local aspect. We’re hesitant to post figures about known cases in the newspaper because we know by the time you read it, those figures will have changed. We also know those figures are only confirmed cases and that Alabama isn’t testing every sick person for COVID-19.
Our mission during this time is to show our community that we are strong and that there is good still happening around us. We also want to give you accurate information coming from local governments, law enforcement, and healthcare facilities. For up-to-date information, visit our website at citizenofeastalabama.com. That’s where we’re reporting stories coming from East Alabama Medical Center and surrounding hospitals that send us updates two to three times each week. We want to be a news outlet that you can trust for stories in our community. If you have news you would like to share, send us an email to email@example.com.
By Denise DuBois, Executive Editor