The Davis Enterprise recently published an “Our View” editorial column arguing that newspapers play an essential role during this COVID-19 emergency. They encouraged people to write to reporters you appreciate and thank them. We decided we should take action too.
We agree that the Davis Enterprise plays an essential role in our community now, and for many, years in the past as well (it is our community’s oldest business, founded in 1897). But it needs our support to continue to do so in the future. In this article, we make the case for why you should subscribe to the Davis Enterprise if you are not already. Details are at the end of the article.
Before we begin, though, we want to make clear how we see the Davisite’s relationship to the Davis Enterprise. As co-facilitators of the Davisite, we strive to offer a more extended platform where Davisites with diverse points of view can share their views about issues and topics that are important to them, share a poem, tell a story, or highlight something they like about the community. Sometimes these articles have an element of “reporting” to them, and sometimes they do not. But we do not consider ourselves to be reporters – we both have full-time jobs and we do this purely as volunteers on our own time. We don’t consider the Davisite to be in competition with the Davis Enterprise or any other news organization. Indeed, we often link to the Davis Enterprise, elaborating on or responding to stories that we see there. We see that as synergy, not competition.
So, then what does a newspaper such as the Davis Enterprise do that is different from the Davisite and from other local news-ish organizations? First and foremost is the range of stories that they cover. As their editorial points out, they cover “business, the stock market, jobs, quality of life, elected officials, events, local schools, entertainment, crime, transportation, weather and more.” We were surprised to see “sports” left off that list, one of the areas of the paper hardest-hit by the COVID-19 emergency; the Enterprise has had to furlough some of its sports reporters. We think that the Enterprise’s coverage of local sports is highly valued by athletes, their parents, and local fans, helping to keep the community engaged.
Debbie Davis, the former editor of the paper, once said it was her goal to have every kid in Davis have their name in the paper before they graduated from high school. That is a great community-oriented goal.
Indeed, community is what a local newspaper like the Davis Enterprise is all about. Without a local paper, it is difficult to be engaged with what is going on around you and with each other. The local paper is the heart and soul of the community. It allows us to communicate and it brings us together in a spirit of common purpose, even as we disagree on the details.
Not only does the Davis Enterprise strive to cover a wide-range of topics (rather than just cherry picking a few of interest), it strives to focus on complete stories – the “who, what, where, when, and why.” It doesn’t just focus on, say, personalities, without giving context for what they’ve said and why. And it strives to provide balanced coverage, presenting multiples sides of issues rather than just one side.
None of this is to say that the Davis Enterprise always lives up to these ideals. We ourselves have been critical of its coverage from time to time. But it comes closer than any other organization in Davis. More importantly, it is our paper. If we want it to be better, we can speak up. They print the majority of the letters that are sent to them. And if we, as subscribers speak up en masse – if we want to see something different – it is hard to imagine that the Davis Enterprise would not respond.
Sometimes we agree with the editorials in the Enterprise, and sometimes we don’t, but for the most part the editorial is clearly defined from the news. We appreciate that professional journalistic approach of the Enterprise.
One of the things that the COVID-19 emergency has brought to the fore is the extent to which members of our community are interdependent; how each of us behaves in this crisis affects everyone else. Throughout it all, the Davis Enterprise has been providing reliable, current, and invaluable information about what government’s latest orders are, what our current status is, and how we are responding.
So it’s not just that members of the community are interdependent – we are interdependent with our newspaper as well. It is irreplaceable. If we want it to continue to be there through this crisis and beyond, we need to support it with our subscriptions. We strongly implore you to do so.
If you would like a home delivered subscription (with 24/7 online access), The Enterprise is offering an introductory promotional offer at $2.99 for the first month going to $13.44 per month after that on an automatic reoccurring payment. (It has been deemed as safe to receive the physical newspaper at your house -
Learn more about the history of the Davis Enterprise in this 2013 Enterprise story.