Peninsula News' role - supporting local democracy
The price of liberty, and its democratic expression, is eternal vigilance.
Perhaps nothing brings this home as starkly as last week's storming of the Capitol in the United States.
That should be a cause for some reflection, and not just in terms of how national democratic processes and institutions can be hijacked or put under threat.
Coming so soon after the financial failure of the amalgamated Central Coast Council, it highlights the questions of the scale and the nature of democracy that we want for our community here on the Peninsula.
It raises questions of the obligations of our democratic representatives.
It also raises questions of the role and responsibility of the media.
As Peninsula News enters its 23rd year, we are reminded of the reason that Peninsula News was started.
That was to provide information to our readers so that the Peninsula community could take the maximum responsibility for and control over the quality of our own community life.
This should not be a remarkable idea for a population of 40,000 people.
More than half the councils in the state have lower populations than this, all of which went through the amalgamation review.
Peninsula News' role requires it to provide an accurate, comprehensive and attributed coverage of local events.
It requires us to regard the community as real identifiable people, and to avoid manipulation by anonymous influencers.
It requires us to write from the perspective of the ordinary member of the community and to resist pressure to modify our reporting to suit the rich and powerful.
We believe that Peninsula News' structure as a voluntary non-profit association provides the best opportunity for us to do so.
We believe that the most successful democracies are those where ordinary people actively participate and speak up.
We encourage you to do so. We ask for your continued support.
Mark Snell, editor
11 Jan 2021