Small-town papers help knit communities together

I’m dedicating my July 4 to the courageous journalists who were murdered last week at the Capital Gazette in Maryland.

Independence Day celebrates our nation’s declaration that it would not abide by the arbitrary decrees from across an ocean by a monarch who feared putting power in the hands of his citizens. With the Declaration of Independence began the formal shaping of this nation and its ideals of freedom that are unlike those in any other country.

This must be the place: Don’t shoot the messenger, literally

It’s something that’s been in the back of my mind for a while now. When news broke last week of the shooting at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland, that thought now shifted from the back of my mind to the forefront of my thoughts — could it happen to us?

Tribal Council media ban a mistake

Symbolism is often just as important as reality. The decision by the Cherokee Tribal Council to ban all media from council chambers except the tribally owned Cherokee One Feather is rife with symbolism about values and open government, and the picture it paints is not very positive. 

Specifically, the Tribal Council took direct aim at The Smoky Mountain News and our reporter Holly Kays. The Council member who made the motion to ban media asserted incorrectly that this newspaper had misquoted her. We did not misquote her, and a video of the meeting clearly shows that to be the truth. Despite that, the motion passed with just one Tribal Council member voting against it.

Resolution to reverse Cherokee media ban withdrawn

A resolution seeking to reverse a ban on non-Cherokee media outlets — enacted by the Cherokee Tribal Council Thursday, April 5 — was withdrawn from the agenda when Council convened for its May 3 meeting. 

This must be the place: Every soul has a story, every story has a face

You can’t help but smile.

Watching old clips of “On The Road” with Charles Kuralt, you find yourself in a headspace of familiarity. Not so much nostalgia as it is a trip down memory lane, when folks actually looked forward to watching the news, or at least those “CBS News Sunday Morning” episodes where Kuralt was as much a part of an enjoyable breakfast as bacon, eggs and a strong cup of coffee.

Tribal transparency on shaky ground after media ban

Allegations made by a member of Cherokee Tribal Council against a Smoky Mountain News reporter have resulted in a ban on all non-Cherokee media from Tribal Council chambers. 

Loud and clear: Local radio rejuvenated

In almost every living American resides at least one sepia-toned memory embellished with song — that perpetual score to a first kiss, or a last dance. 

Don’t rely on fake Fox News

By Norman Hoffman • Guest Columnist

It is truly amusing to see an apparent “conservative” say that liberals are out of touch with reality because they don’t watch Fox News. I tend to watch several networks and frequently have found that what Fox talking heads are saying does not match the facts. Not only do they tend to have a strong bias to saying what conservative want to hear, their “facts” are often wrong or distorted. 

This must be the place: ‘There’s no such thing as truth. Everyone has their own truth.’

Now, let’s get this out of the way.

What happened to U.S. figure skater Nancy Kerrigan from within the social circle of her rival, Tonya Harding, was a tragic crime. Folks went to jail for assault and conspiracy, and lives were forever tarnished on both sides of the vicious attack on Kerrigan just before the 1994 Winter Olympics. 

Public broadcasting cuts would not serve WNC well

By Peter Nieckarz • Guest Columnist

The Trump administration in mid-February unveiled its proposed federal budget for 2019. The proposal calls for the total elimination of federal appropriations for public broadcasting. The present level of funding to public broadcasting ($445 million) represents a microscopic portion of federal spending, but the impact this proposed cut will have on public broadcasting will be anything but small, particularly for public radio and the countless communities served by it. Federal budgets may seem abstract and not immediately relevant to us, but as the old saying goes, “All politics is local.” With respect to this, it is important for us in Western North Carolina consider the impact that a defunded public radio could have for our region.      

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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.

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