02 UCWLOGO 25 yearsNo doubt about it, the flow of relevant, truthful and honest news is being attacked on many fronts.

The business of media has experienced profound changes, and we find ourselves continually dealing with the way we gather the news, receive the news, and actually how we fund the news. Local media is under assault nationwide with chains absorbing community newspapers, and often decimating them.

The Fayetteville community lacks a strong, daily source of local news. We have a mediocre talk radio station, no local TV station, and a daily left-of-center daily newspaper that is a shadow of its former self. It's a sad situation for a community of 300,000-plus residents. No doubt, Fayetteville is on the verge of becoming North Carolina's next "news media desert." We cannot let this happen.

Here in Fayetteville, we have difficulty staying informed of important issues that go before the Fayetteville City Council, County Commissioners and the CC school board. Without dedicated news reporters no one is covering these meetings, asking pertinent questions and presenting the facts for analyses and discussion by the community.

Up & Coming Weekly, like other weekly newspapers across the country, has always been the local community's heart and conscience. We celebrate the community and promote people, businesses, organizations, music, the arts and culture. We showcase our community's uniqueness and provide a platform for views – both popular and unpopular. We reflect the values of our residents, businesses and organizations. When the occasion calls for it, we challenge decisions and actions made by community leaders. This is necessary to ensure transparency. Our citizens deserve no less than our best effort on these tasks.

Local community newspapers are different than dailies, many of which carry the same regional and national stories shared from content sources. The publishers of a daily in Raleigh simply are not interested in reporting on local details here that do not profoundly affect their city. That task is often left to local area community newspapers, like Up & Coming Weekly, and we’ve been doing that for 25 years.

You can get headlines anywhere. But, as more and more people rely on social media to keep up with their community, they realize they are missing the essence of what defines their community. This is why a community newspaper is so important. Locally, our citizens need a voice, and they need to know what is going on and taking place in the community. They need to know what their leaders are doing and what decisions are being made. Unlike the state, regional, national and international news, there is no substitute for locally-produced news and views. However, local coverage depends solely on local newsgathering. Local news is all about the community and what is happening in and about your neighborhoods.

At Up & Coming Weekly, we are committed to continuing to serve as a local news source. We endeavor to keep you informed of what is happening in our community and highlight people and organizations doing great things. We aim to hold our leaders accountable to you. We know Fayetteville and Cumberland County residents value Up & Coming Weekly and our efforts to provide news and information. We welcome your ideas and feedback. We hear you, and rest assured, our newspaper will be expanding to meet the demands of the community.

Thank you for a great 25 years. We look forward to continuing to serve as your community newspaper.

Thank you for reading Up & Coming Weekly.