Not long back we ran a story about a formerly homeless man now gainfully employed, and how a police interaction led to the city seeking to euthanize his service dog of 15 years. Spoiler alert: MaryJane is, thankfully, still very much alive.
Our work on that story started with a concerned reader reaching out to us for help – scared for their friend, and frustrated that nobody else would listen – and with legal action pending, time was running short. Everyone involved was mercifully easy to reach, which is not usually the case, and we were able to quickly publish Of course, this may all sound a little dramatic, but it really wasn’t – we simply did our job.
Little over a month later, a rightfully indignant mom contacted us about the Corvallis Little League prioritizing the boys’ team over the girls’. This one was not as easy, and the outcomes of publishing this story are less clear. However, given the social media response to the story, it seems obvious that other families have had similar experiences with this organization, and we suspect we’ll be monitoring them for some time, possibly years.
Over time, we’ve done many stories like these – someone isn’t being listened to, and they have nowhere else to turn, and a smaller down-to-earth newspaper like ours tends to attract journalists that prioritize helping folks in straits like these. Honestly, responding to these inquiries is both one of the hardest things we do, and one of the most fulfilling – so we have some requests of you, our readers. In short, we’d like your help as we seek to help the community.
Firstly, don’t be shy. Even if you need us to keep your name out of it, please let us know if you believe we can be helpful as a newspaper. Each post on our site now ends with an email that you can send story leads to. Please send your contact info, because we may need a little more info, but at the same time, let us know if you need to stay anonymous.
Conversely, please understand that some weeks are busier than others at The Advocate, and that we’re forever short staffed. We simply can’t do every story that comes our way, and picking and choosing what we can do is one of the hardest conversations we have as a staff.
Finally, so that we keep doing this work, and maybe even say yes to more leads, please consider a subscription – our Economy level is $10 monthly, and our Standard level is $15 monthly. For those of you already subscribing and donating, we can’t say it enough: we’re incredibly grateful, and thank you.We couldn’t do any of this work with you.