Santa Fe Reporter’s journalists probably don’t realize how everyone in town feels like we know them personally. Seeing Alex De Vore’s name and feeling cooler for wanting to see the shows he recommends. Reading Andy Lyman and trying to anticipate the questions he’s going to answer—their role at SFR makes growing Santa Fe feel smaller, closer and more human. It is truly a precedent the newspaper set years ago.
I’ve always appreciated SFR’s in-depth and dogged coverage of issues that have not received the coverage they deserved. For example, SFR has tenaciously reported on the radioactive contamination by the Eberline plant in the district I represent in the state House of Representatives, unwilling to let leaders sweep it to the side. SFR reports on the issues that matter to our daily lives in Santa Fe and keeps the spotlight on top of sometimes overlooked issues.
In the day-to-day reporting, I depend on Julia Goldberg’s Morning Word for a great Cliff’s Notes for the day. Mixing the weighty with the jovial, it offers a full spectrum of what is happening in our community. But it was especially vital during the height of the pandemic. We were all so isolated from each other and the news was either difficult to find or difficult to hear. Each day, I’d go back to the Reporter, poring over the pandemic numbers for my district and for the city. As we continue to emerge from the darkest days of the pandemic, the importance of the Santa Fe Reporter only grows.
Over the past few years, our sense of community has been shattered. Resources like SFR and its reporters bring people together. Whether it’s catching a show at Meow Wolf or dining at a James Beard Award-winning restaurant that we discovered in the pages of SFR, the paper increases our opportunities to see each other and be reminded of the humanity and loveliest feature of our beautiful city: its people.
I’m not alone in loving SFR. Like all Santafesinos, I always know when the “Best of Santa Fe” list is released each summer because my regular haunts are suddenly booked out, weeks ahead. And it’s absolutely worth seeing the outpouring of enthusiasm for Santa Fe’s entrepreneurs and their businesses.
The most important feature of the Santa Fe Reporter is in its existence and should be measured beyond the content found in its pages. Today, our nation struggles with accurate reporting. Right now, national news is more likely to terrify and tear us apart than bring us together. For that and so many reasons, support for independent reporting today is more important than ever. Communities have been hemorrhaging local reporting for decades. In a city like Santa Fe—where we balance heritage and the future or our small community through our role defining the policy of the state—we need news outlets bringing our community to the center of our attention. Outlets like SFR may illuminate our shortcomings, but they give us opportunities to find the bright spots of our town, together. Accurate news is rare. But free, accurate and community building news outlets like SFR are a true gift.
This letter is part of the annual year-end campaign for Friends of the Reporter, a community model for supporting our journalism mission. Our newspaper and website remain free. Will you give the gift of journalism? Can you help offset the cost of paper, distribution and newsgathering? Donate now and double the contribution! New Mexico Local News fund will match up to $5,000 in donations through Dec. 31. Visit sfreporter.com/friends, to make a one-time or recurring donation or via check at PO Box 4910, Santa Fe, NM 87502.