We are writing to say thank you for the role that this paper (and other local papers) played in publicizing a recent event at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of San Dieguito in Solana Beach. We were very happily surprised at the response the articles on our exhibit of Hmong story cloths and social forum elicited. Many friends and neighbors commented on an article they had seen, and the audience at the exhibit opening and social forum came from all parts of the county.
A young Hmong man, chairperson of the Education Committee of the Hmong Family Association of San Diego, told us that night about how surprised and delighted he had been to see the article about “his people” in a local publication. A nurse who had worked in Laos in the 1960s saw the article and came because it was the first time she’d seen anything about Laos in local publications for 20 years. Another woman saw the article in a doctor’s office and was so excited about attending that the receptionist helped her find her way to the fellowship. We believe the enthusiastic overall response and these individual stories illustrate so well the fact that local newspapers are essential to bringing our communities together.
We were interviewed by two reporters who were both remarkably young and remarkably good at what they do, and we so appreciated their expressed (and obvious) commitment to keeping print journalism alive in this world of instant communication. After this experience, we are more than ever convinced that newspapers, especially local ones that report local news to local people, play a vital role in creating and sustaining community. Thanks to all of you who make them happen.
Nancy and Roger Harmon