Picture a Tahoe dried up of any local media. All the regional coverage comes from tired “top 10” lists of best ski resorts, frantic video spots of incoming weather, or sporadic national news coverage on issues decided by news desks in lands far away.

Sounds lacking to us as well. And did you know that such a “news desert” has also been shown to impact voting habits in small towns?

Local news sources are drying up at an alarming rate. More than 3,000 journalists were let go in 2019 alone, reports the Columbia Journalism Review.

HARD NEWS: Download the Brookings Institute report online. Courtesy image

A November 2019 paper from the Brookings Institution stated that “the local news crisis has precipitated a general disengagement from local democratic life.” It goes on to relay that as local papers go away, so does local political coverage. In turn, so does interest in local elections. Not the type of snowball-effect we are enthused about.

As the California March 3 primary comes around the bend, it seems the national contest is the only politics to which people are paying attention. Yes, whoever takes the Oval Office is surely an important moment, but local elections hold the same importance — sometimes more. A vote for a local board member is a vote to elect your community priorities on a much smaller and more personal scale. These elections are swayed by exponentially fewer votes, thus exponentially increasing the impact of said votes.

As you may have guessed, one way to help assuage this issue is to contribute to North Tahoe and Truckee’s premier news outlet, where we will help to keep readers informed and make more simple the hornet’s nest of local politics. And if we don’t know all the answer, we can aim to recommend a specialized local political resource.

Tahoe can be an excellent escape from politics, but sometimes it can be beneficial to square up the issues, figure out what’s what, and make that vote.

~ Dave Zook, former Moonshine Ink editor and reporter

Update on Our Membership Campaign

You are helping keep Moonshine Ink as a real newspaper for the benefit of our community!

Our Membership drive is starting off strong! More than 170 donors have signed up to support the paper with the large majority electing to come in at set Membership levels, which gives us an indication of how much support will be coming in monthly. We are grateful, encouraged, and invigorated to continue our work.

We are appealing to you, our dear readers, to save and support Moonshine Ink with Memberships at five levels of support: Sustainer, Guardian, Warrior, Hero, and Angel, depending upon what you feel you can afford to keep the Ink benefiting our

PLEASE NOTE: Moonshine Ink is not an official “nonprofit organization.” (For practical reasons involving the likelihood of local factional efforts to dominate a nonprofit’s board so as to gain editorial control of the paper, it could not be.) Therefore, your Membership contributions are NOT tax deductible.

Members have no ownership or voting interest in Moonshine Ink. And we know our Members appreciate that we cannot allow the fact of their Memberships to influence or control the paper’s ongoing editorial policies and decisions.

Membership Benefits:

  • Subscription to print editions of Moonshine Ink
  • Sweet Member car-window decals, which we very much hope you will display so as to encourage others to join us.
  • Recognition of your Membership in Moonshine Ink, unless you request anonymity.
  • Occasional offers, special to our Members, from local businesses.
  • Standing invitation to join our monthly editorial team meeting.
  • Invitations to what we hope will be the annual Moonshine Ink Stellar People Ball.
  • And most important and valuable of all: You will receive the satisfaction and pleasure of knowing that you are doing your part to support a real newspaper in this mountain hamlet for the benefit of our entire community.

Contact Molly with any questions, (530) 587-3607 x0 or molly@moonshineink.com.


  • Dave Zook

    Dave Zook has been aiming to turn interests in outdoor activities like snowboarding and surfing into a professional endeavor for quite some time. He is elated to be writing and editing for Moonshine Ink and still have time to explore the ample offerings of the Sierra.

    Connect with Dave

    M-Tu, Th-Fr 9:30am - 6pm
    10317 Riverside Dr
    Truckee, CA 96161
    Email: dzook (at) moonshineink.com

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