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Reviving independent journalism

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To the Editor:

The resurrection of a local news source in Kent under the banner of the Kent Good Times Dispatch (Kent GTD), marks a pivotal moment in our community’s history. This initiative, born from the desire of residents during the uncertain times of a global pandemic, is not merely the revival of a beloved local paper, but a reaffirmation of the crucial role independent journalism plays in small towns.

The original GTD, started as a Boy Scout troop project in 1952, evolved over the years under various stewardships, but consistently served Kent with a dedication to independent journalism. It became a vital part of the community’s daily life, capturing not only the news, but the spirit of Kent itself. When it suddenly ceased publication in 2009 due to broader economic pressures, a vital voice for transparency and community engagement was lost.

Now, thanks to the efforts of dedicated townspeople, and with the commitment of longtime journalists, like Kathryn Boughton and Lynn Mellis Worthington, the Kent GTD is making a commendable return. This time, it embraces both the legacy and the modern needs of our community, engaging with readers online while nurturing plans for sustainable growth, which will allow it to adapt for the future. 

The need for such a venture cannot be overstated. In an era where local news across the United States has seen drastic cutbacks, the absence of a dedicated news source can allow local issues and governmental actions to go unchecked and unreported. Local journalism fosters a well-informed citizenry, ready to participate actively in democracy. It encourages transparency from elected officials and provides a forum for community issues, helping to ensure that important local narratives do not go unnoticed.

Moreover, independent journalism in small towns like ours does more than just report news; it knits the fabric of the community tighter. It celebrates local successes, deliberates on challenges, and even mourns our losses as a collective. It offers a platform for voices that might otherwise be misunderstood or marginalized and plays an essential role in educating and informing the public on vital issues, from local elections to school board decisions.

The Kent GTD has already shown promise in its mission, rallying significant community support with a clear endorsement of its necessity and value. As it moves forward, it will undoubtedly continue to play a critical role in shaping our community’s future.

However, to maintain its independence and its ability to report without bias, the Kent GTD needs the support of its readers and the wider community. Independent journalism does not just happen; it is a costly endeavor that relies on the financial support of its community to thrive. Your contributions will ensure that our beloved paper can continue to deliver high-quality, reliable journalism and remain a cornerstone of our community’s identity.

I urge all who believe in fostering a transparent, informed and engaged Kent to consider supporting the Kent GTD. Whether through donating, advertising, or volunteering, your support will help protect the legacy of independent journalism in Kent, ensuring that the Kent GTD continues to serve our community faithfully, just as it once did, for many years to come.

Please join me in donating today, and be an engaged part of Kent’s vibrant future, a future filled with community fun, knowledge, transparency, unity and civility, guided by the steadfast light of independent journalism. Your support is not just an investment in a newspaper; it’s an investment in every citizen of Kent and the generations to follow.

Sarah A. Chase

Kent

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