Local focus

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: A local focus is one of the core values of the Reno News & Review. RN&R editor emeritus D. Brian Burghart used to have a sign that said something to that effect up on the wall in his office. There are plenty of outlets for national and international stories. You can’t point a mouse on the internet without stumbling onto an impeachment story. (“Who still uses a mouse?” you might well ask while thumbing through your screen.) But a story about where the City of Reno might put some toilets? You need to turn to a local outlet.

Over the years, a subject of a lot of intra-office debate around here has been how much to collaborate with the journalists at our sister papers in Sacramento and Chico, California. Twenty-five years ago, in the early days of the RN&R, not long after the fledgling Nevada Weekly was purchased by the News & Review company, there was a dedicated effort, among our journalistic ancestors, to distance this paper from its sister publications. Among locals around here, there was, then as now, a fear of California cultural imperialism. If the RN&R was gonna last, we needed to prove that we were a Nevada paper, damn it! Screw a bunch of Golden State.

That attitude has mellowed a bit over the years. Our colleagues in Sacramento and Chico do great work, and we’re happy to share some of the best of it with our readers. Especially something like this week’s cover story package. Long after the national media outlets have left to cover the next big-headline disaster, the Chico News & Review has continued its award-winning coverage of the heartbreaking drudgery of rebuilding a community.

Still, every once in a while, somebody—often an employee of a larger media corporation—will question the RN&R’s bona fides as a “locally owned” paper. Because, yeah right, a small family-owned regional chain is basically the same as a giant billionaire-backed media corporation with dozens of publications.

We’re not a lone fish, but it’s a small school—which is totally different than a shiver of sharks.