As the owner and frequent writer on El Paso News I want to take this opportunity to offer a big thank you to our loyal readers and to the supporters who have contributed towards our operational costs this year. Without your help, support and those who read and share our stories we would not have existed for the last twenty-three years.
When I launched El Paso News, my vision was to create an outlet where the voices that are often disfranchised by the traditional news media outlets could be heard. As dreams go, and I like to dream big, I never thought of a time when my publication would become an integral part of the city’s political dialog. But things change over time and the unexpected happened, the news media industry collapsed.
Gone are the days when the local newspaper provides the checks-and-balances to government affairs. Gone are the days when you could turn on the local news station or read the local newspaper to find the facts and news are separate from the gossip and where opinion was placed on a page clearly marked the editorial page.
Listening to any newscast today one is often confronted by editorialized content marked as “analysis” blaring the lines between news and opinion to the point that there is little to no difference between the two. Some will argue that the lines have been blared because the Internet has destroyed the news industry and others will argue that news consumers don’t have time or a need to analyze on their own and instead in today’s world where content is delivered everywhere, the need for facts has given way to pre-chewed nuggets of understanding that people consume each day.
Wherever you stand on this does not matter because the news industry has dramatically changed and remains in flux today.
When I started writing it was the genesis of blogs when blogging wasn’t even known as it is today. At the time the scrappy news alternative was The Drudge Report (yes, I am dating myself here) and many referred to me as the local version of The Drudge Report. As the traditional news media outlets began to feel the downward pressure towards their demise they resorted to labeling blogs as not newsworthy or not a part of “real” journalism.
Today I am often asked if El Paso News is a blog or a news outlet.
The answer is, and to my surprise, neither because El Paso News represents the future of the news industry in that El Paso News fills the void between news, analysis and opinion about the issues facing the community. The reason I argue that it represents the future of the news media is because unlike other news outlets El Paso News is an open platform focused on serving the community by providing voices to all regardless of their ideology, political beliefs or what they wish to express. Unlike our competitor we do not have a gatekeeper limiting who is published or what is allowed in the publication.
Everyone is welcome to express themselves on El Paso News thanks to the generosity of those who support us and most important because of you, the consumers of our content.
What makes us different and the reason we are the future of the news media is because we follow the Wikipedia model where the content is created by you, the readers who are also the gatekeepers and the consumers. You see, each of you dictate the policies and processes of El Paso News because we are not limited by what donors tell us is allowed on El Paso News. You are the gatekeepers who set terms of El Paso News.
Without you, the consumer, we would not exist and it is why you deserve a big thank you during this season of thanks.
Twenty-three years ago when the first iteration of the El Paso News launched, I never considered that two+ decades later it would still be doing what it set out to do – inform you about what is happening in your community.
This week, I will be celebrating you and toasting a big thank you to all of you who make El Paso News what it is today. Thank you and may all you have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day with family and friends.
See you all next week!