Despite the digital age, you can still pick up local newspapers at grocery stores across Santa Maria.
For The Sun Managing Editor Joe Payne, working at a newspaper has been an over decade long love affair.
“We’re about informing people and that’s really what we care about the most – the truth – and sharing it. I always say we’re always like historians in real time, trying to give the public a record of their community,” Payne explained.
As he sits next to a poster of Charlie Hebdo, Payne says attacks like what happened at the Capital Gazette in Maryland are upsetting to think about.
“We never want to become the story, we always want to tell the story. So to see them have to deal with that was difficult,” Payne said.
And he’s not alone. The editor of San Luis Obispo Tribune, Joe Tarica, sent us a statement saying:
As fellow journalists, we are shocked and saddened by the shooting that claimed the lives of five people at the Capital Gazette. We simply can’t allow this kind of gun violence to continue, and we hope that our leaders will seriously consider how we might begin to change this climate. It is a painful statement on the current condition of our nation that the media is now literally under fire in the workplace, beyond all of the terrible tragedies that have preceded the one that occurredyesterday in Maryland. These are people who work hard for low pay in defense of truth in a profession that is a foundation of our democracy. We all feel their loss deeply.
The Santa Maria Times, tells us they are now evaluating their security practices.
As the Santa Maria Valley’s local newspaper our staff works every day to engage the public and cover the events of our region. In the wake of Thursday’s deadly shooting at the Capital Gazette in Maryland, Lee Enterprises, the parent company of the Santa Maria Times, Lompoc Record and Santa Ynez Valley News is evaluating its safety policies and how they apply at the local level.
Payne says the sun is too. “If there was ever somebody disgruntled with the paper, it’s something we’d take very seriously.”
As journalists like Payne try to move forward, Payne says he’d love to see the community continue to support them and the industry he loves.
“If there’s ever a story you think we’re missing, or a story that needs to be told, you can always reach out to us send us a letter, email or give us a call. We really are your friendly neighborhood journalists. We’re here to serve the community and that’s what we’re all about.”