At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.

Everyone reads the local free papers

To the Editor:

I was just thumbing back through recent issues of SMN and read your piece about supporting local newspapers. It reminded me of a conversation I had earlier this year as a group of us planned getting the word out about an event. We brought up putting notices in The Smoky Mountain News and the Macon County News. One person in the group, a retired professional from Atlanta, said of the free papers, “Nobody reads those!” The rest of us were bug-eyed and responded “Everybody reads those!” 

I have shared his comments with others because his comment seemed so contrary to what I have observed. Everyone seems to agree with the group. We are so glad to have our local papers. We read them.

I get my national news from the Wall Street Journal and TV news, but my life is here in Macon County, and I want to know what is happening here where I live. 

You also mentioned something about not wanting communities to look alike. My husband and I are road-trippers, and we are often struck by how many places now look the same. Pull off the interstate at a busy interchange, and you could be almost anywhere in the U.S.  Sad. We’d like to see some indication of the local culture, style, foods, etc., but it’s getting harder to find such when traveling.

Valerie Niskanen


Go to top