It's not just the switch from printing presses to digital layout, or the advent of social media that's different these days. An increasing number of places lack local news, as University of North Carolina professor Penny Abernathy has documented in her research on news deserts; more than 1,300 communities have lost their local paper since 2004. But, Kiely writes, journalists should resist the temptation to dwell on that.
"Real newshounds don’t wallow in the cozy memories of a sepia-stained past. We are about the now and the next. Our job has always been to help our communities recognize the today’s challenges of today and turn them into the tomorrow’s promise," Kiely writes. "Yes, it’s awkward that of today’s biggest challenges involves us —the newshounds. We’ve always been better at telling your story than telling our own. Yet this is your story too: The future of democracy is inextricably bound up with the future of a free press."