Wind howled and rain drizzled as a group of volunteers clustered beneath a concrete overpass near an Everett homeless shelter. Equipped with laptops and mobile hot spots, the women helped unsheltered people sign up for stimulus checks that the federal government is distributing amid the coronavirus pandemic. The task proved a challenge, especially since many of the people didn’t have permanent addresses or email accounts. But the $1,200 checks were enough to change lives, the volunteers agreed.
I featured their efforts in a front page story for The Daily Herald.
At the paper, part of our job is to show readers when people in the community are doing good and share refreshing tales that make you smile.
It’s also our job to deliver the bad news, which is all too often dismissed as grim and discouraging. Truly, bad news makes us all uncomfortable. Yet the negative headlines are often the ones that shine light on important issues or hold our public officials accountable.
My first day at The Herald was in February. Because of the pandemic, I’ve spent less time in the newsroom and more time at my home office. Nonetheless, I’ve tried my best to serve our readers. I’ve covered local conversations about defunding law enforcement amid nationwide calls for an end to police brutality. I’ve reported on how some of our most vulnerable communities, including the homeless and racial minorities, have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 crisis. And I’ve revealed to the public the misdeeds that ended a local police chief’s tenure.
At the same time, I’ve watched my coworkers spring to action at the epicenter of an international public health crisis. They’ve moved me with their stories of those who have died of the coronavirus. They’ve inspired me with their efforts to dig deeper, even at a time when our team is strained. And, most of all, they’ve given our subscribers the day-to-day news that they need to stay safe and aware during this turbulent era.
In a world where misinformation is constantly swirling around us, we all need a source we can trust. I haven’t been here long, but I can already tell that The Daily Herald is dedicated to that mission — whether the news is good or bad.
Rachel is an investigative reporter for The Daily Herald. Her work is supported by the Investigative Journalism Fund.