A Letter from Rashad Mahmood

“Local news is the invisible glue that turns a group of people into a community.”

Sometimes it’s easy to forget just how vital access to local news and information is. It’s just part of the air we breathe, how we relate to our community, how we connect to our neighbors and friends. It’s about the businesses we rely on, the layers of government that provide vital services and need to be held accountable. Local news is the invisible glue that turns a group of people into a community, and it needs your support.

As the head of an organization that supports local news in New Mexico, I am deeply concerned about the state of local journalism in our state. Since 2004 New Mexico has lost at least 12 newspapers. Rural communities have been hit especially hard, and there are four counties in New Mexico without any source of local news. This decline has had a devastating impact on the ability of these communities to stay informed about what’s going on, and to hold their elected officials accountable. When no one is watching, it is much easier for corruption and mismanagement to go unnoticed. This can have serious consequences, particularly for those who live in rural areas and already face challenges in accessing basic services and resources.

Just in the last few months, we’ve seen dramatic reductions in staff at newspapers owned by large national chains with no regard for the impact it has on the communities they serve. We’ve also seen ownership changes at local papers that have fortunately kept them in independent, New Mexico-owned hands.

Meanwhile, in Santa Fe, we have the Santa Fe Reporter. What better example could there be of a paper that serves as the beating heart of community.? Whether doing the hard work of reporting on zoning meetings, or getting a read on the latest restaurants, the Santa Fe Reporter is there for Santa Feans. Heck, I don’t even live in Santa Fe and I read it to keep track of what’s going on in our state’s capital.

Like many of you, the Morning Word is one of the first things I read in the morning, helping me feel connected to what’s going on around the state. During the legislative session, I wouldn’t be able to keep up without the Reporter’s carefully curated updates on the latest happenings in the Roundhouse.

One last thing I love about the Reporter is its creativity. Commissioning local artists to create cover illustrations, T-shirts, coloring books and probably other things I’ve missed, SFR is always inventing new ways to strengthen the local arts scene, while providing readers with cool swag.

On behalf of the New Mexico Local News Fund, I’m honored to provide matching funds for the Santa Fe Reporter’s end of year fundraising campaign. With your contribution, you’re not just supporting a news outlet. You’re supporting Santa Fe itself. Please join me in contributing today and become a true Friend of the Reporter.

—Rashad Mahmood,

Executive Director

New Mexico Local News Fund


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.

Letters to the Editor

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