2024-07-14 7:00 PM

Editorial: City Council Survey Cites News-Press Role

The headline on the front page of this edition is big news, indeed. Nothing is forever, and things can change quickly, but the comprehensive results from the opinion survey commissioned by the F.C. City Council are in, and they find that folks living in The Little City are, well, on balance happy.

The 1,400 pages of data compiled in the Probolsky Research firm’s scientifically-valid survey of 400 City of Falls Church residents that were released to the City Council and public earlier this week establish conclusively that, no matter whatever else, folks who live here are satisfied, comfortable and happy to be here. This of course does not take into account the parameters that delimit who is living here, and who isn’t, and the survey shows that citizens are aware that housing affordability is among the two biggest challenges the city faces.

It needs to be pointed out that they are aware of this problem because they’ve seen the information and concerns expressed about it. They’re aware that it is not just a local, or regional, but a national problem and that efforts are being undertaken far and wide to address it. They’ve learned that in this area, it has been racially-driven zoning which has contributed the most to problems that now exist and that responsible lawmakers are trying against stiff opposition to fairly redress.

So, how do they know this? Well, as the Probolsky survey shows, in the case of Falls Church, a lot of it has to do with the fact the city has enjoyed the benefits of a weekly general interest newspaper for the last 33 years, the mighty Falls Church News-Press that so far has survived against the stiffest of headwinds that have wreaked havoc among newspapers everywhere and continue to do so.

Emily Jenkins, current board chair of the Falls Church Chamber of Commerce, reported to us this week on remarks made by Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota at the Anti-Monopoly Summit in D.C. last week, where she issued a clarion call to reverse the current trend which, if it continues, will see another fully 33 percent of newspapers of all stripes being wiped out by 2025. She insisted that it is good newspapers that are the “glue” that binds communities together, creating shared interest in everything going on, and as such are essential “to our very democracy.”

The demise of newspapers, she went on, “is endangering our civic discussions” and argues that monopolies like Google are devouring news stolen from news organizations without paying for it. She is currently the sponsor of S.673, the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act of 2022, which is a first attempt to redress this critical situation.

We at the mighty News-Press appreciate that data about where folks get their news is included by Probolsky in its survey report. We hope important policy makers will act accordingly to help assure we survive.

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