The Intelligencer Focus Is Local

These days, much of the public’s concern about journalism is focused on the quality of national political reporting. But for one and two-thirds centuries, we at The Intelligencer have concentrated on something different: your news.

We regard ourselves as the community newspaper. Our emphasis is and always has been accurate accounts of what is going on in the Ohio Valley and elsewhere in West Virginia and Ohio.

The Intelligencer came into being on Aug. 24, 1852, so today is our birthday. Our emphasis on local and state news stretches back to before West Virginia became a state.

During that time, we have told readers what town and city councils were doing with our money. We have covered everything from massive economic development initiatives to whether streets were being cleared of snow efficiently.

Boards of education have received just as much scrutiny — in part because our children and grandchildren attend them, too. Like our readers, we want to know whether the “three Rs” are being taught and a hundred other things about our schools.

Our coverage has been wide-ranging. We go to high school football games and report on them. We tell you when new stores open — and when really good buys are being offered. We delight in engagement announcements and 50th anniversary stories. When friends, family members, neighbors and co-workers pass away, we join you in honoring their lives.

In scores of other ways, we tell you about our communities and states.

Both by keeping readers informed and by leadership on our editorial pages, we guard against “predatory interests which would violate civil rights,” as we proclaim each day on our front page.

But our editorial leadership extends to less wide-ranging, but still important, issues. We question proposals to reinvigorate our downtown business districts and to change how our children are taught. When statehouse politicians become too arrogant, we take them to task.

Both in our reporting and our editorial leadership, our allegiance is to the well-being of our neighbors here in the Ohio Valley. Special interests and powerful politicians seeking to influence us are wasting their time.

We are concerned about the state of journalism, in general. We do our best to ensure you can have faith in the craft as we practice it.

But we worry less about how we are viewed on the national stage than about earning your trust.

That is what matters most to us. It is what has driven The Intelligencer for 166 years — and it will continue to be our guiding light.

That is worth celebrating. Today, then, we invite you to join us in wishing ourselves a happy birthday as we continue to serve you.

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