Saturday, December 24, 2005

What a Difference a Year Makes

I would not write this entry, in this way, now. Having worked for the past eight months at a community newspaper -- in the best sense of those words -- I see matters differently. The holiday season gives us an opportunity to help out those in great need. In a state the size of New Hampshire, state assistance can be difficult to sort out.

With all that being said, I thought I'd quote my Christmas entry of last year. It still makes some pertinent points.

My holiday wish this year is to not hear anyone's holiday wishes. ...

I understand this season sees more charitable donations than any others. I understand that many charities depend on it to make their budgets meet. But is it really the role of a newspaper to perpetuate this ... ?

Look, big cities (and the smaller ones, too) bulge with the needy. They stand on the street corners with shopping carts full of possessions. They wait in lines for soup. They ask pedestrians for change. And they do this 365 days a year.

I see these folks every day. In December, yes, but in January and February too. They don't just magically appear for this single 31-day span. ... Yes, that little homeless boy would love toys this month. But he would also like to have a place to live, and food to eat, and other toys to play with, and a life worth living for the other 11 months of the year.

If those in the journalism profession want to spread the word about how their readers (and viewers) can help the less-fortunate, they should take a longer-term, more realistic approach. ...

My employer takes this more realistic approach, I'm pleased to say. Stories about poverty and need run in months other than December. Please, folks: In this season of giving, think about the other seasons.