The not fake news during National Newspaper Week

A physician who worked at High Desert State Prison until July 1 is arrested in Queens, New York after making threats against local students in Susanville, prompting the soft lock down of all county schools.

Citizens against Measure M host a series of Town Hall meetings up and down the county to oppose commercial marijuana grows.

Several hundred seasonal strawberry field workers from Mexico arrive in Lassen County.

The city of Susanville applies for a Tobacco Law Enforcement Grant to cover an array of activities, including undercover drug-buy operations.

The Family Resource Center in Westwood holds an open house to show off its new remodel.

The Westwood Unified School district receives a $200,000 grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to support youth literacy.

Joe Johnstun assumes a new role as assistant manager for the Westwood Community Services District.

The historic J.P. McWalsh Coffee Company gets new owners.

The Lake Almanor Spillway Bridge opens to traffic ahead of schedule.

These stories appeared last week on the front pages of the Lassen County Times and the Westwood PinePress.

So we have to ask — are newspapers and their employees really the enemy of the people? Would you really call the stories in your local newspaper fake news? Of course not.

Yet in one way or another all journalists are being tossed into the anti-media waters being churned by President Donald Trump and others.

Community journalists do not write to choose sides on the right or left of national politics. Instead, we simply defend community newspapers from an attack they did not initiate and do not deserve. We join newspapers across the nation who this week are using their editorial pages to stand united in their defense of our profession.

Some people believe the president and, unfortunately, the ugly rhetoric, is sifting downward, settling even on small, local newspapers such as the Lassen County Times and the Westwood PinePress, weekly newspapers dedicated to serving their communities.

Newspapers are being called “fake news” by candidates, public servants and some of the people we cover. They do this because they see it happening on TV, and they do it as they try to create their own smokescreens in the face of news coverage they see as critical of themselves or their political beliefs.

Do not fall for it. Journalism matters now more than ever, and during National Newspaper Week, Oct. 7-13, it is time to recognize local newspapers’ dedication to the public good and their connection with their readers and the communities they serve, inform, entertain and inspire.

Newspapers are the first to admit they are not perfect, but on all levels we are serious about what we see as our core roles: Documenting the daily and weekly history of our towns and serving as watchdogs to protect the public’s interest.

Newspapers are doing this in towns and cities across the nation — as they have fore centuries — and we at the Times and the Westwood PinePress will continue to do our best to bring local news to all of you readers each and every week.

And that is not fake news.