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When the focus of an organization’s mission is called out for “doing it right,” it is a tremendous boost to the crew trying so hard to make a difference; to defend the democracy that underlies the freedoms, rights, and responsibilities that we Americans share today.

Recently, in a speech before the Colorado Press Association during our annual conference, Denver’s 9News Anchor Kyle Clark focused on the role of the free press in democracy. In his remarks, he referenced  Ark Valley Voice’s work as his example of how local news can represent and reflect our democratic principles.


It was a complete surprise to learn that the metro NBC affiliate was paying attention to what we do. We are gratified. We are humbled. We are local. We work hard to do the kind of investigative reporting that “gives truth a voice.”

We are glad that the call to defend this democracy is shared by others of our fellow news media.

We keep at this because democracy is worth defending. But defending it is not just our job — it is every citizen’s job.

Those of us who daily raise issues and seek transparency urge our readers to do the same. Speak up. Get informed about the issues. Ask questions of the candidates. Look hard at their policies and policy experience. Don’t just ask why, ask what? How much? What else?

We encourage you to look at which candidates represent your values, and where they stand on the issues. If they won’t answer questions, ask ‘why not?’ Above all, in keeping with Ark Valley Voice’s framing of these elections as the practice of our democratic values — ask where they stand on that.

Democracy is not just a noun, it is a verb. We must all practice it to defend it. It is worth defending.

Featured image: A recent 4th of July at Riverside Park in Salida. AVV file photo.