The Valley Citizen is dedicated to the memory of John Michael Flint. That’s his image on our masthead.
John Flint was a confirmed libertarian and most likely would have disagreed with a lot of what we’ve written and will continue to write. But I know he would have liked our local focus and ongoing attempts to be as informed and factual as possible.
John and I were fellow Community Columnists for the Modesto Bee for well over a decade, and we met often, usually on a weekly basis. John followed local politics with a keen interest and an almost photographic memory. He was a wonderful raconteur and conversationalist, and especially loved talking about local news.
From the very beginning of his tenure as a Community Columnist, John was by far the most popular local writer on the Bee’s Opinion Page. He was witty, informed, and well read. Most of all, he cared.
John would have lamented the decline in journalism we’re seeing today, and most especially the decline in local journalism. He believed firmly that democracy depends on an informed citizenry. He took on the responsibility of being informed by reading, attending city council meetings and supervisors’ meetings, and generally discharging what he saw as his civic duty as diligently as he could.
“Civic,” or “public” journalism is journalism that attempts to both inform and engage. We’re committed to writing about issues of local interest in hopes of engaging valley citizens in the ongoing project of government of, by, and for the people. We think an essential element in that project is local journalism, and we hope to keep local journalism alive through these dark days. We see better days ahead.
But we also see that the future of local journalism is most likely through subscription and community support. Subscriptions to The Valley Citizen today are free, but we gladly accept donations. We want to grow and we’ll need your help.