The world is flat, even in the mountains |

The world is flat, even in the mountains

Don’t tell the ski resorts but Truckee/North Tahoe is becoming flat.

Thomas L. Friedman, author of “The World is Flat”, describes the cascade of technological and social shifts that effectively leveled the economic playing field, and “made Beijing, Bangalore and Bethesda next-door neighbors.”

His notion of the world is that “individuals and small groups of every color of the rainbow will be able to plug and play.”

The marriage of the Tahoe World and Sierra Sun is flattening our community. It’s a bit melodramatic, but you get the point. By combining the two papers into one that covers the region, we become ” much more deliberately ” one community.

There is a wonderful nonprofit organization called the Pew Center for Civic Journalism that frequently asks the question, “When the media does its job differently, do citizens do their job differently?”

So let’s ask the question. Now that our paper is coming out more often, will it provide us with more opportunities to motivate people to think and then to act within our community?

When you pick up the newspaper each day, you receive more than news. You receive a responsibility. That responsibility is to participate in the community; to take an active role in our government, political, and civic processes. You receive the responsibility to participate in home owners associations, PTOs, community forums, and civic organizations. You receive the responsibility to help your neighbors overcome hunger, racism, domestic violence, poverty and to help them find opportunity and a better life.

You get plugged in. You have to play.

Almost makes you want to go home and watch another rerun of Cheers doesn’t it?

Communities are ever-evolving. At Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation, we view it as walking into a cocktail party in a middle of a conversation. It doesn’t matter that you weren’t there when the conversation began. No matter when you arrive, if you join in, there is always going to be something fascinating to learn.

As a community, we have the right to demand a great newspaper. Without vibrant, in-depth reporting, full-time locals and part time locals will not be as well-informed or have the information they need to engage fully in civic life.

Newspapers are a part of a healthy community. Community processes may be messy, imprecise, and frustratingly slow. But in the end the system usually ” not always ” is responsive to the people; and usually ” not always ” will try to do what is right.

It works, not for everybody, not all the time, not perfectly; but it works for most of us most of the time.

Reporting and reflecting that is the newspaper’s job. Responding to it is everyone’s job.

So Sierra Sun… Go out there and flatten out our mountains. We’ll let you know what we think about it.

Lisa Dobey is CEO of Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation. Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation connects people and opportunities, generating resources to build a more caring, creative, and effective community. Lisa can be reached at 587-1776 or

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