Without a doubt, news media is crucial for all cities and towns to keep them informed of local issues and, more importantly, keep a diligent eye on the goings-on in municipal governments.
Anyone disappointed and skeptical of the effectiveness and competency of Fayetteville and Cumberland County elected officials, or are familiar with the recent corruption and fiscal mismanagement of the Town of Spring Lake, or has witnessed the chaos and grief that has resulted from the victimizing of the Hope Mills mayor and town officials by a small group of local discontents and social media trolls, can see the similarities.
What all three municipalities have in common is the absence of LOCAL media.
I cannot overstate the media's role in maintaining a fiscally healthy and well-managed city or town. This is why the news media is often called the Fourth Estate. (The three branches/estates of government: Executive, Legislative, and Judicial).
The Fourth Estate, news media, is the check and balance and informational conduit keeping citizens informed of what is happening in government. Through investigative reporting, local news media uncovers corruption, conflicts of interest, or misuse of power in municipal governments.
The effective use of news media is critical to preventing the abuse of authority. When elected officials are aware that we, the media, are scrutinizing their actions, they are more likely to be on their best behavior and make decisions that are in our best interests. Accountability helps prevent negligence or unethical behavior.
Up & Coming Weekly community newspaper works closely with the newly reformatted CityViewToday's daily electronic newsletter to inform Cumberland County residents in all nine municipalities of important news and information.
We applaud CVT for its commitment to bringing local news and issues to the forefront of the Fayetteville/Cumberland County community. Hiring former newspaper publisher Bill Horner III as CVT Executive Editor and, most recently, Fayetteville Observer's veteran reporter Paul Woolverton, is a massive step toward steering Fayetteville from becoming a "news media desert."
Talented and knowledgeable, these news media professionals bring industry expertise, integrity, and hard news reporting back to Fayetteville. More importantly, Woolverton retains local historical knowledge that's vital when making inquiries and contacts and connecting the dots on important community stories and events.
If you are still unclear on how important news media is to Cumberland County, consider media outlets like Up & Coming Weekly newspaper and CityViewToday newsletter's responsibilities to the community.
Together, we provide transparency and, whenever possible, serve as watchdogs, holding local city and county elected officials accountable for their actions.
We ensure transparency on essential decisions concerning projects, spending, and public funds allocation. A lack of accountability caused the criminal loss of hundreds of thousands of taxpayers' money and threatened the existence of the Town of Spring Lake.
Local news media encourages community involvement. It is vital to inform residents about important issues, meetings, and decisions that impact their daily lives. It enables and encourages citizens to participate in the democratic process.
One of the significant reasons voter turnout is so poor in Fayetteville and Hope Mills is that the voters are not informed or engaged. They do not know the issues or, more importantly, the candidates. Without this engagement, knowledge, and communication, the motivation to vote or participate in local government is nonexistent.
Additionally, and unfortunately, Fayetteville and Cumberland County have no local TV stations. In most communities nationwide, a local TV station and newspaper inform citizens about local issues, policies, initiatives, and events.
Without such means, disseminating crucial information to the public becomes virtually impossible. Without these local news outlets, residents lose their voice and cannot share their opinions, concerns, or suggestions regarding municipal matters.
Public input of this nature influences decision-makers and leads to more responsive governance.
Again, we welcome Bill Horner III to Fayetteville and Paul Woolverton back from the Dark Side (Just kidding, Paul!). The citizens of Fayetteville and all Cumberland County municipalities have our assurance that CityViewToday and Up & Coming Weekly community newspaper will continue to serve in the best interest of the citizens by being trusted media resources that bridge local governments with informed citizens, assuring transparency, accountability, and creating an engaged community.
The Fayetteville community deserves it.
Thank you for reading Up & Coming Weekly.