STILL A READER
Thanks for Scott Reeder's piece on the State Journal-Register and how its functions have been scattered to the four winds as a sacrifice to the money gods ("State Journal-Register building up for auction," Sept. 9).
Although the SJ-R staff is stretched thin, it is still strong enough to produce some decent local coverage. I remain loyal to the print edition, maybe because I'm an old fuddy-duddy, or maybe because my dad was a newspaper reporter.
But what I think is most troubling for the Springfield community is the reduction of the SJ-R's op-ed page to just one page, two days a week. Losing this community discussion verges on the unconstitutional, and I don't see how it saves a newspaper one slim dime to purge readers' voices from a public forum.
It's a blessing that Illinois Times still maintains a robust commitment to opinion and commentary and to see this paper add both Reeder and Kenneth Lowe to an already strong stable of writers.
It might be that the future of journalism will come down to following new business models like that of IT, or like Capitol News Illinois, which is supported by foundation money.
But let it never be forgotten that the voice of the people is essential to every journalistic enterprise, as well as to democracy itself.
GAVE IT UP
The State Journal-Register has lost so many subscribers because of relocating printing to Peoria and not maintaining local news reporters. Now they keep outsourcing the news, using USA Today stories and jacking up the prices for the remaining subscribers. It`s like they are purposely driving the paper out of business; it`s barely worth looking at online these days. I would only sign up again if they brought back local coverage and stopped charging me twice a month for a monthly subscription.
Pam Fliege Lazar
TEACHING ABOUT RACISM
What a powerful article to be Scott Reeder's first as an official staff writer for Illinois Times ("CRT: Critical of race teaching, Sept. 9"). The examples of his first and ninth grade experiences point to the need to do a better job of sharing reality. The big question is, has much changed in our telling the real story of systemic racism?
I will look forward to his sharing and challenging us to rethink how we pass on the story of our history.
Congratulations on Scott's new position as staff writer. You made another very good choice in bringing him on as a regular contributor. Sister Marilyn Jean Runkel
This past weekend, the whole country commemorated the loss of thousands of innocent lives at the World Trade Center, a field in Pennsylvania and the Pentagon. In addition, we memorialized and honored those first responders who, with little thought for their own safety, rushed into the burning towers in order to try to save the lives of strangers trapped inside. They were, and are, heroes. They sacrificed their lives for the common good.
And what about today? With a viral pandemic that has taken 660,000 American lives – more than 220 times that attack – too many of us are not willing to simply wear a face covering in public spaces. Or endure a couple of nearly painless needle sticks carrying a remarkably safe and effective vaccine, all in the name of personal freedom.
As long as many people are not willing to make a small sacrifice for the common good, we'll have this pandemic. And, our common freedom we all cherish will be a long way off.
David W. Trout