The COVID pandemic is a successful grim reaper of businesses as well as people

To the Editor:

Last week, I picked up some veggies at a generous friend’s house with a more extensive garden than ours. During a brief chat about what’s going on, I told her I had worked in the morning on my stone walk project and had ventured out in the afternoon to purchase a copy of The Altamont Enterprise as Thursday is an exception to our daily COVID restricted routine.

I mentioned every now and then, a letter of mine is published along with many others. Only an occasional reader, she was under the impression local writers “paid” to have their letters published. I explained that’s not the case but it got me thinking a bit of our local paper and what’s become of “the others.”

Many small regional newspapers are already out of business as there was insufficient revenue support.  Without a forum, free speech is diminished if one can’t be heard.

Once our nation’s most respected newspaper, The New York Times, no longer publishes “all the news that’s fit to print.” Fact-based news has largely been replaced by opinion pieces and biased editorials permeated by an anti-conservative agenda resulting in Pulitzer Prize awards for publishing lies and falsehoods.

Our local paper displays no such bias but an unswerving equal concern for all people’s welfare. The Altamont Enterprise maintains the highest journalistic and ethical standards with writing recognized as some of the country’s finest by a weekly newspaper. Its timely, extraordinary COVID coverage is detailed, objective, informative, engaging, and extremely well written. A must-read.

Most all newspapers severely limit the number of letters by readers published. On the other hand, The Enterprise appears to publish, with few exceptions, all letters received — even x-rated ones. By contrast, the Times Union is a desert of opinion. Horrible, bias to the bone, too much advertising, a dearth of writers and mostly imported Associated Press news articles. No wonder it’s so fiscally successful! Those costly letters to the editor take up a lot of revenue space!

There is an ongoing concern I have for our local paper as the passing of time and innovation has not been kind to the print industry. Not too long ago, advertising was plentiful. Full-page ads ran for The Altamont Fair, the Scottish Games, and various other events. Classified ads ran for three or four pages. Not anymore!

The COVID pandemic is a successful grim reaper of businesses as well as people. What can we do to help?

Maybe, my friend was on to something as innovative revenue new sources would surely help. Since such a large portion of The Enterprise is the popular Opinion letters section, why not monetize them by the pica? Then, every letter writer could put their money where their mouth is. What’s there not to like for advertising your own opinion? And how refreshing brevity would be?

Also, schools could become a revenue source with individual copies purchased for every student to read and take home for study. Instead of history, history, all the time, they could in class all get on the same page for a weekly discussion of what’s currently happening in the community.

Instead of learning revisionist history pushed by The New York Times’ 1619 project, students could read and experience a present-day forum that displays, in print anew every week, prime source examples of America’s freedoms of speech, press, religion, the right to petition, peaceful assembly, to bear arms and “the others.”

Ed Cowley


Editor’s note: The Enterprise will not charge letter-writers to express their opinions. Such a forum would favor the wealthy. We value a free exchange of ideas for our community.

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