Yes, TSB looks different - again. We are incessantly working to make our online news and information site better. The purpose of this most recent update is to give readers an online source for news and views that is easier to use and has a cleaner look and feel.
So what's new?
- We made our font larger for easier reading.
- We are now utilizing our homepage slideshow to feature our top stories on a daily basis.
- Our McKinney Marketplace section features local business news, tips, special offers and allows the consumer and businesses to engage with each other. I hope you will take a second to check out our Mckinney Marketplace on our homepage.
- We have added a list of Upcoming Events to our homepage. All event listings link to more detailed information.
But these changes are cosmetic. We are still the news organization that you can turn to for up to the minute, unbiased, solid local news reporting, Op-Ed columns, as well as feature stories on entertainers and local citizens, 24/7, 365 days a year. TSB is the independent voice of the community. With 14 paid staffers, and a number of regular contributers, we post a copious supply of original content on a daily basis. We still encourage our readers to post comments and stories. We are still the "buzz" around town.
TSB is not in the business of trying to convince our readers to be liberal or conservative, we don't slant the news or report it with an agenda. We allow viewpoints from every angle to be represented. (We may not have too many liberals weighing on topics, however, the opportunity is available!)
It's our job to give an accurate account of what happened and report a balanced view of a story. It's our job to find the untold stories and tell them.
As journalists, we strive to give you the truth, no matter how difficult our community may find that truth to swallow at times. Of course, we are also able to tell the really positive stories - the feel good stories - that also make up the news.
I've asked myself this question thousands of times since our inception in 2005, "Do McKinney residents really care about local news?"
Studies show that people do care about local news and I have to think that McKinney residents would be no different in this regard.
"Yet when asked about specific local topics and which sources they rely on for that information, it turns out that many adults are quite reliant on newspapers and their websites. Of the 16 specific local topics queried, newspapers ranked as the most, or tied as the most, relied upon source for 11 of the 16." Pew Internet Sept. 2011
In the same article, I came across the following:
"Among all adults, newspapers were cited as the most relied-upon source or tied for most relied upon for crime, taxes, local government activities, schools, local politics, local jobs, community/neighborhood events, arts events, zoning information, local social services, and real estate/housing." Pew Internet Sept. 2011
Regardless of whether you are a follower of local news, I trust that McKinney citizens understand that it is vitally important to have a vibrant local news outlet. (I often equate this with that old saying "You don't know what you've got till it's gone.") Why? If news sources cease to exist due to rapidly declining revenues, who will expose any shady practices that might occur within local government? Who will "talk" about the problems faced daily by the poor, the uneducated, or the small business owner? Who will discuss social issues? Who will hold big business, politicians and city organizations accountable?
As luck would have it, when I started working on this particular column this week, I attended a presentation by Jim Moroney, Publisher and CEO of the Dallas Morning News, at the McKinney Chamber's CEO luncheon on Tuesday.
During his speech, Moroney said,
"The watchdog role that the media plays in this country, on behalf of its citizens, is essential to a vibrant and enduring democracy and if you take all the reporting resources out, there is going to be a lot more larceny that goes on unreported, and that is the real tragedy."
Moroney's comments about democracy reminded me of a map I viewed on one of my visits to the Newseum in Washington, D.C. Compare the parts of the world that have free press to those that have no freedom of the press - amazing! This visual resonates with most people when putting freedom of the press side by side with democracy.
I am passionate about presenting the facts to readers so they can make up their own minds. I believe that we live in a world where people have the ability to decipher fact, fiction and opinion. I believe that the citizens of McKinney value information and can decide for themselves what to do with that information. Journalists have an obligation to their profession, and to the public, to disseminate the facts and that's what we at TSB will continue to do.
I'd also like to express a sincere thank you to those of you who are a part of the TSB community. I hope that you truly feel that you can discover, engage and connect with TSB and the community at large. We welcome your comments, opinions and news tips and encourage you to participate in the daily "buzz" of our city!
“In seeking truth you have to get both sides of a story.”