Letters to the Editor: Dec. 28, 2018

Give thanks for journalism

After another year of incessant harangues about “fake news,” I think it’s worth reflecting on how much we owe to the journalists who keep us informed every day about our country and our world.

Being a journalist is certainly not a path to riches. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for journalists is only $34,870 per year, and one quarter make no more than $25,720 per year.

Journalists choose their job because it’s important, not because it’s a path to big bucks.

In spite of the refrain of “fake news,” the news media have an astonishingly good track record. They uncover and report the news with a precision most professions would envy.

Just a few examples of journalism that have changed American history for the better include the Pentagon Papers, the My Lai Massacre exposé, Watergate, Senator Bob Packwood’s sexual misconduct (leading to his retirement), incompetence in the VA hospitals, cheating by Atlanta school administrators to boost test scores, and Trump family tax evasion of nearly $1 billion.

We are discovering that corruption is shockingly common. Too often, it is not the prosecutors, but the journalists, who do the heavy lifting in uncovering the truth.
Journalism is an example of capitalism at its best. Multiple news organizations competing to find the news we need to hear, fact checking the politicians and each other, vying to both get it first and get it right.

The founding fathers understood the essential role of the press and protected it in the First Amendment.

We are lucky in Yamhill County to enjoy one of the best small-town newspapers in America. The News-Register is a rich resource to our community that too many of us take for granted.

To journalists everywhere, and to our own News-Register crew, thank you.

Scott Gibson



Plant-based resolution

With the glow of Christmas barely behind us, we look forward to the new year and the customary New Year’s resolutions: reduce social media, reduce weight, and, this year, reduce animal food consumption.

One third of consumers already report reducing their consumption of animal foods. Hundreds of school, college, hospital, and corporate cafeterias have embraced Meatless Monday. Even fast-food chains Chipotle, Denny’s, Panera, Subway, Taco Bell and White Castle are rolling out plant-based options.

A dozen start-ups, led by Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, are creating healthy, eco-friendly, compassionate, convenient, delicious plant-based meat and dairy products. Meat industry giants Tyson Foods, Cargill and Canada’s Maple Leaf Foods have invested heavily in plant-based meat development. So have a number of tech pioneers like Microsoft, Google, Twitter and PayPal.

According to Plant-Based Foods Association, plant-based food sales have grown by 20 percent in the past year, ten times the growth rate of all foods. Sales of plant-based cheeses, creamers, butter, yogurts, and ice creams are exploding at a 50 percent growth rate. Plant-based milks now account for 15 percent of the milk market.

The plant-based New Year’s resolution requires no sweat or deprivation - just some fun exploration of your favorite supermarket and food websites.

Milo Nakamura



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