CN&R’s pledge

We’re going to continue to focus on the stories that inform readers and better the community

In this week’s cover story, you’ll read about Facebook’s ever-changing algorithm and how media companies have gone to extraordinary lengths to chase page views. It’s a depressing piece for journalists because it underscores the mistakes newspapers have made that have led to a bastardization of this once-great industry.

Indeed, in the digital age, many newspapers and magazines have put too many resources into their online product. Some established whole teams of employees dedicated to pulling readers in through Facebook alone. The problem is that many of them lost sight of their core mission. From writing clickbait-style headlines to assigning stories specifically to get the most online traffic, they’ve moved away from what ought to have been the priority: providing news that translates to an informed citizenry.

The result is a vicious cycle in which a poor product leads to plummeting readership, leading to further declines in quality and fewer readers, and so on and so forth. It’s saddened us to witness this race to the bottom in an industry so vital to society.

Here at the CN&R, we haven’t ignored Facebook. We’d have been ignorant to have done so. But the social media network has never been a high priority. Rather, the emphasis has remained on telling the stories we believe are important to the community, especially those we know other media outlets aren’t willing to tell.

You’ve rewarded us by continuing to pick up this newspaper—week in and week out in the dozen years since Facebook went mainstream. While some publications have floundered, even disappeared altogether, the CN&R has made modest gains in circulation. We appreciate the support that has kept the presses busy for more than 40 years.

Our pledge to you: to continue following our mission of producing reporting that betters the community.