By Kathleen Eagan | Special to Moonshine Ink
They say all politics is local … and we say that all valuable journalism is local. Moonshine Ink is the source my husband Jim Duffy and I go to for a rich compendium of so many aspects of our region’s lifestyle and culture. Every edition runs the gamut of topics we live and breathe every day: our recreational lifestyle, our health and well-being, our economy, matters affecting our businesses, upcoming events, our history, thought-provoking guest opinion pieces, questions we have (You Asked. They Answered), our local nonprofits making a difference for all of us. There is something for everyone.
For me, that “something” is Moonshine’s consistent and ongoing coverage of major concerns. I see this as its greatest contribution to our communities. I go to Moonshine Ink to learn how our elected officials and community partners are working together to tackle big issues facing us. These are matters we all care about and that affect all of us — likely in different ways. As an example, over the last four years Moonshine Ink has been a driving force in keeping the topic of workforce housing in front of the public. When Moonshine takes on a big issue, each month’s edition addresses a new aspect of that subject. No quick and fractured reporting here, but the steady stream of content that keeps us abreast of the facts of the situation as well as the steps that are being considered to address the problem. When we citizens are informed, the suggestions we offer elected officials provide them helpful ideas and insights as they grapple with finding solutions. Having been an elected official (Truckee Town Council, Truckee Tahoe Airport Board), my experience has shown me that a well-informed community helps the decision-making process. An educated community interacting with those tasked with making decisions results in better outcomes.
Another example is the comprehensive monthly coverage of COVID-19. This coverage is more than simply providing the statistics. Moonshine engages in thoughtful exploration of how this pandemic is affecting our region specifically — it’s local, it’s personal. We read stories of local survivors, roller-coaster impacts on our local businesses, what we and businesses are doing to slow the spread. And we learn how to care for ourselves to reduce the virus’s impact on our personal health and well-being.
Of equal value to all of us is Moonshine’s willingness to engage in investigative reporting on controversial issues. Moonshine does not shy away from this essential role of a free press. It takes courage, commitment, and tenacity for a news publication to assume this role. Taking on this challenge can be painful in a small community as it may expose possibly embarrassing actions on the part of our friends and neighbors. Yet, when there is the strong suggestion of impropriety, it is critical that an independent news entity do more than report viewpoints. They need to ferret out the truth by seeking hard evidence that exposes the underlying facts of the situation. I applaud Moonshine for its occasional investigative reporting. If our local news source won’t tackle this, who will help us get to the truth?
Moonshine Ink is a vital source of in-depth coverage of all things Truckee/North Tahoe. It brings us news in the context of our local lifestyle and reality. That is why Jim and I have chosen to be strong financial supporters of this local newspaper. It is that important to us and we feel it is that important to our region … our place.