By Steve Teshara
I’m an avid proponent and consumer of quality local news and have been since my early years. I appreciate good journalism as an essential part of what differentiates a community from a place. That’s one of the key reasons I’m proud to be a Moonshine Ink member and supporter.
At various times during my career, I’ve been directly involved in researching and delivering local news. In 1972 I owned and published a local newspaper in my hometown. From 1981 through 1985 I was a one-person news department, first at KEZC-FM on Tahoe’s North Shore then at KTHO-AM on the South Shore. From late 2010 into early 2020 I produced and hosted a community access television program featuring in-depth interviews with elected officials, authors, scientists, business and nonprofit leaders, and a variety of others with information and human-interest stories to share.
From these firsthand experiences, I know that researching and reporting the news is hard work. It takes curiosity, passion, creativity, commitment, persistence, and no shortage of skills. When I first met Mayumi Elegado in 2004, she shared her with me her fledgling vision for what has evolved to become the Moonshine Ink we know today. I was impressed and excited for the potential I felt her vision represented for the greater Truckee/North Tahoe region.
Moonshine Ink is a focal point for the people and community it serves to gather, learn, and exchange ideas. It’s a reliable source for news and information about our local governments, agencies, and institutions, and a guide for how to participate in local decision-making. It’s a way for us to better understand and share the importance of protecting and enhancing our natural environment. It’s a forum for folks to speak out. It provides an ongoing opportunity to highlight the artists, crafts persons, musicians, writers, and other uniquely talented people in our area to showcase their works so we can celebrate and enjoy.
I’m particularly thankful for the Moonshine team’s commitment to investigative journalism and in-depth reporting. It’s exemplary and rare for a community of our size. I also appreciate the diversity of Ink’s news briefs and features on the colorful history of our area. Each issue is thought-provoking and I always learn something new. And no essay about Moonshine Ink would be complete without a salute to its outstanding online companion, moonshineink.com.
Local newspapers have been the backbone of communities throughout the United States for over 200 years. Sadly, many are disappearing. According to the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at the University of North Carolina, since 2004, the U.S. has lost one-fourth, or some 2,100, of its newspapers. Some researchers report findings that the loss of local news outlets diminishes not just knowledge of local happenings and politics, but also ties within a community. The result can be a loss of the fabric of community and less civic engagement in democracy close to home. Again, based on my experiences, I know neither one of those outcomes would be good for us.
We simply can’t take Moonshine Ink and the people who make it happen for granted. Thanks to all of you who are advertisers, subscribers, and members — Moonshine Heroes, Warriors, Guardians, and Sustainers. I am proud to be one of you. If you aren’t a member at some level already, please join us. It’s an investment in sustaining ourselves and our community.