Demonstrators give thanks for thoughtful journalism
President Donald Trump continued his war with the national media this week, so I was surprised when a group of three or four dozen citizens showed up at The Columbian’s front door around lunchtime on Wednesday with signs like “Thank you for thoughtful editorials” and “Thanks for investigative reporting” and “Democracy requires a free press.”
I’ve been in this business for 35 years and I’ve never seen anything like it. After a few statements and some chanting about the importance of the First Amendment and The Columbian, the group crowded around to shake some of our hands. Wow!
Because everything lives on social media these days, the staff was quick to share it on Twitter. That in turn drew response from people at the big media outlets like The Associated Press and The Wall Street Journal, all wondering about the unusual sight that they apparently have yet to experience.
A group of local progressive activists was behind the rally, and, no, we didn’t put them up to it. But, we sure enjoyed meeting the readers and taking a moment to reflect on what we do matters. We like to think our role is to make our community better by showing what’s good and what needs to be improved, and providing a forum for ideas and discussion. Unlike what President Trump said about journalists, we think that is patriotism.
Thanks to the folks who turned out, and thanks to all of our readers and customers who help keep The Columbian in business. Clark County is a great place, and we live to tell its stories.
If that wasn’t enough, the next day we had two giant T. Rex dinosaurs, or at least people dressed like giant T. Rex dinosaurs, run through the newsroom around about deadline time. We are still trying to figure out what that was all about, and why a room full of people with allegedly endless curiosity didn’t stop to ask them for an interview.