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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Steve Klinger Guest Blog: New Independent Newspaper 'The Light of New Mexico' Seeks to Illuminate Inconvenient Truths

This is a guest blog by Steve Klinger, a long-time journalist and editor of the Grassroots Press, on the recent launch of a new, independent print and online newspaper called The Light of New Mexico. Steve will be editing the paper, which will initially be published monthly. The first print issue of The Light of New Mexico hit the streets of Santa Fe on September 15, with a cover story on "The Politics of H2O: Who Controls Your Water?" It's also available for download as a pdf by clicking here.

The newspaper, published by Skip Whitson, will focus on "Illuminating Inconvenient Truths," and will be covering "Conscious Culture, including Politics, Reviews, Books and Entertainment." The Light of New Mexico is designed to serve as a progressive, alternative source of ideas, information and a networking nexus for north-central New Mexico and beyond, providing a newspaper, a blog and a community resource.

According to the paper's Mission Statement, "Our focuses include state and local politics, peace/nonviolence, environment, civil liberties, foreign policy, social justice, global awareness, fair trade, localism and sustainability, as well as an abiding appreciation for music and art as a force for change. We maintain a commitment to outreach, education, and peaceful dialogues to safeguard democracy and raise consciousness within our communities.

“It is the role of a newspaperman to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” –-Chicago journalist Finley Peter Dunne

Connecting the Dots
There are those who think the print newspaper is in its death throes and others who think words of any kind are just useless spitballs hurled by naïve optimists into the maelstrom of a crumbling democracy and a planet hurtling toward disaster.

Among the dwindling minority who are still willing or able to commit words to the printed page, even fewer are doing anything like real journalism, as the money behind the surviving mainstream media is too busy advancing the corporate agenda, promoting the so-called balance of false equivalents, or in some cases hacking the phones of crime victims in the race to pander to the lowest common subscriber denominator.

We won’t be doing things that way, and we thought you’d like to know.

I feel privileged to be associated with The Light of New Mexico, a new, independent monthly newspaper based in Santa Fe that will take a higher road in attempting, as our tagline states, to illuminate inconvenient truths. We considered numerous titles for our new publication, and various slogans as well, with a common theme of shedding light on the issues of the day: political corruption, connecting the dots between manmade climate change, gridlocked government, skyrocketing corporate influence in campaigns and legislation, and the threats to democracy our republic is facing on every level. 

As I have done before in my nearly 40 years of newspaper work in New Mexico, most recently with Grassroots Press, I’ll be looking for stories that illustrate the realities ordinary people are facing in their daily lives, hoping to educate our readers and ourselves on the forces that are shaping our future in a downsizing and endangered nation. I’ll be exploring the ways in which the forces of greed and self-interest are attempting to hijack public policy. I’ll be featuring commentary from journalists, authors and experts on the critical times we face, plus a mix of pertinent syndicated material and open pages for you, our readers to fill, with your comments and unique perspectives on everything from politics to the arts.

Without deep pockets or any corporate support, we’ll also be relying on you to help us grow with your display advertising and your donations, as well as your feedback and suggestions.

Santa Fe is a remarkable place, with a rich history of cultural alchemy, a place that tolerates and elevates diversity, eclecticism and artistic expression. One of the oldest capital cities in North America, it arose on the site of far older Pueblos, a product of European colonialism and an often bloody clash of cultures -- Native American, Hispanic, Anglo -- and has been endlessly reinventing itself for better and worse ever since. These days, it’s a world-class destination, but also a place called home for nearly 70,000 folks, including some of the most talented and successful individuals on the planet, and the organizations they’ve brought with them. These include a vital emerging community of locavore, sustainable, nonprofit endeavors. Santa Fe also holds but a fraction of the population of the state of New Mexico that is our larger home, a coverage area into which we hope to expand as The Light of New Mexico grows; we hope to serve it with dedication and distinction.

Most of all, we hope you’ll read our words and help us write them. We hope to prove worthy of your interest and support. Obviously, we believe in the power of words to educate human beings and change history. We also think that time is growing short to do that under the umbrella of a free press in a besieged democracy. That’s why we feel our work is important, especially in a time when ever more of us are feeling afflicted, and those with the money and power are growing ever more comfortable.

This is a guest blog by Steve Klinger, who can be reached at [email protected]

If you'd like to submit a piece for consideration as a guest blog, contact me by clicking on the Email Me link at the upper left-hand corner of the page.

September 28, 2011 at 10:03 AM in Arts, Civil Liberties, Education, Environment, Journalism, Local Politics, Media, Music, Santa Fe, Weblogs | Permalink

Comments

What a great addition to NM's news and opinion scene! Klinger has been doing quality reporting and writing for decades now and I see that the other writers are top notch too. Welcome to The Light!

Posted by: Barry | Sep 28, 2011 1:04:03 PM

I'm already in love with this newspaper after reading the first issue. New Mexico badly needs more of this kind of political, issues and arts reporting. Let's all urge our friends and colleagues to support it with their ads. The tea baggers have an abundance of well funded "news" outlets so we need to strongly support ethical journalism like The Light.

Posted by: Melinda | Sep 28, 2011 2:24:57 PM

I graduated from college wanting to work in newspapers. Everywhere I went in Texas in the mid seventies was just about to announce bankruptcy. What seemed to be going on was that bankers and financiers were deciding to pull the plug on independent newspapers.

Since those days it has been obvious that the money calls the tune and that real journalism was getting more and more rare. There are supposed to be 4 PR people for every working journalist now and pretty much the entire concept of an enlightened public is close to strangulation.

What I hope is that this paper will allow people with experience to bring to the table some lattitude to connect the dots from knowledge. A lot of the time writers for newspapers have to pretend that they don't know what they know and have to go find an opposing viewpoint to call it balanced.

We suffer for the avalanche of BS we are buried under without context and without a sense of history.

I hope this independent newspaper has independent funding and is capable of withstanding the threats of legal action that will start coming in through the back door. A lot of alternative editors and publishers lose their nerve when that starts happening. What most people never know is that this is an aspect that really causes the media to be brought to heel by the big money boys.

Posted by: Stuart Heady | Sep 28, 2011 8:19:40 PM