Whena new newspaper, such as The Santa Fe Reporter, makes an appearance in a city already served by various media, the obvious question to be asked is: Why?
Those of us offering The Reporter have a simple answer. We believe Santa Fe to be without a doubt the most diverse, interesting, vital, important and, yes, the finest city of its size in this country. And we are convinced that there is room here for a newspaper ready to serve the city with the vigor it richly deserves.
Santa Fe is New Mexico's state capital. Laws passed in the near future in the Roundhouse will set this state's course and may well lead the way of deciding the fate of the few remaining unspoiled areas of the American West. Many interest groups are bringing heavy pressure upon the Legislature—and yet there are consistent complaints that there is no true investigative reporting in New Mexico. The Reporter hopes to enter that breach.
Santa Fe is famous for its Three Cultures. Yet there is tension as well as harmony among the Hispanos, Indians and Anglos who inhabit this ancient and beautiful city. And there is, of course, a common humanity that united the races despite surface differences. Without ignoring the problems that beset Santa Fe, The Reporter plans also to probe the bonds that hold the city together.
Santa Fe has become a national magnet for many divergent but clearly definable groups: disaffected youth, looking for a tolerant place where they might "get their thing together;" retired persons, who can think of no nicer place to spend their older years; persons of all ages with wealth and/or talent, who want to make their contributions in Santa Fe, because they have tired of the lesser rewards of living elsewhere. Each of these groups, along with the native families, adds color and life to Santa Fe and make it what it is. The Reporter is aware of these groups.
Santa Fe has a vigorous business community, yet much of the significant action in that area goes unreported to the city at large. The local sports scene holds many unexamined aspects, not only in crowd favorites such as football and basketball, but also in "minor" passions from chess to jogging. The Reporter will appear on those scenes.
The Reporter proposes to bring to Santa Feans the news of their own city, the news of their neighbors, the news of the things that affect their lives and the lives of their neighbors. And The Reporter will not content itself with merely passing along official statements from city hall, the county courthouse or the police department, and will not be satisfied with bland press-release summaries of what is taking place in the State Capitol. The Reporter will dig.
But The Reporter does not offer itself as an "underground" or "alternative-journalism" newspaper. The Reporter is strictly Establishment in seeking to present unbiased, accurate and complete reportage, with comment from all sides in issues as they arise. The Reporter does not represent the "new journalism," but, we like to think, the best of the "old journalism."
The best of the old journalism includes outspoken columns, the human dimensions of the news, the brightest and the bleakest aspects of a city's life, as well as a diligent attention to the day-to-day events that make up that life's mainstream. The best of the old journalism can be a force in a city where it is practiced, and can bring distinction to itself and the city.
We think Santa Fe deserves a strong, outspoken and conscientious newspaper. We offer The Reporter to try to fill that role.