Untangling the web: Leading Native journalist says ignorance on Native issues poses danger for tribes

As voting hours ended on Election Day 2020, talking heads waiting for results to roll in filled the TV airwaves with speculation based on the exit polling data before them. What might it mean for the final results, and for the future of the American presidency?

Finding light in the darkness: A conversation with Jane Ferguson

In the realm of foreign journalism, few correspondents are as fearless and compassionate as Jane Ferguson.

How valuable is the survival of local news?

“A democracy ceases to be a democracy if its citizens do not participate in its governance. To participate intelligently, they must know what their government has done, is doing and plans to do in their name. Whenever any hindrance, no matter what its name, is placed in the way of this information, a democracy is weakened, and its future endangered. This is the meaning of freedom of press. It is not just important to democracy, it is democracy.” — Walter Cronkite

The truth is not as simple as it seems

So here’s a reality of the explosion of information that we all live with today: it is now more difficult than ever — not easier — to discern the truth.

Twenty-two years later, some things haven’t changed

Early morning, June 2, 1999. I remember exactly where I was at and what I was doing. More on that later.

A healthy, diverse media landscape is a good thing

We who live in Western North Carolina are fortunate in many ways. We know that. It’s a beautiful place with a vibrant economy populated by interesting people from all over. It’s easy to commune with friends at a brewery or restaurant (adhering to covid restrictions) or slip away to the woods in the East Coast’s largest wilderness area.

SMN brings home 26 N.C. Press Awards

The Smoky Mountain News team won 26 editorial awards in the 2020 North Carolina Press Association News and Editorial Contest. 

Who can you trust to tell the truth?

Another poll, another reality check for the media: Americans don’t trust us. The question that comes to mind, for me, is who does the public does trust for reporting the news? 

A Gallup poll released late last year revealed that 60 percent of Americans don’t think the media accurately and fairly reports the news, and 33 percent have absolutely no trust or confidence in the media. Finally, a whopping 27 percent have “not very much” trust in mass media (newspapers, television and radio).

Cost-saving measure could lead to less government transparency

A bill in the North Carolina General Assembly that would allow local governments to stop publishing mandated legal notices in newspapers may save cash-strapped local governments a small amount of money in advertising expenses each year, but could also lead to citizens missing out on critical information while also damaging local newsrooms. 

Transparency concerns surround Council casino discussions

When the Cherokee Tribal Council waded through its final hours of discussion — and, ultimately, a vote — on the $280 million decision to move forward with the Indiana casino purchase, few tribal members saw them do it. 

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