Reporting from a Burned-Out Main Street

Source: TomDispatch
by Jane Braxton Little

“When wildfires began erupting in the Texas Panhandle in February, Laurie Ezzell Brown, the editor and publisher of the Canadian Record, was in Houston on a panel discussing ways in which losing local newspapers represents a danger to democracy. Running the once-a-week Record from the Panhandle town of Canadian, she certainly knew something about the rise of ‘news deserts’ in this country. While she was meeting with other journalists concerned about disappearing local newspapers, Brown kept an eye on reports about ignitions sparking wildfires west of her town and posted updates from afar so that her readers would remain informed. ‘Those fires never stay in the next county,’ Brown said grimly. And indeed, as the flames galloped through fallow fields and approached her hometown, she began a desperate drive back to Canadian with a friend.” (05/12/24)