Vogt's Notes: It’s Trust Week; I invite you to find out what that means

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This week, all Forum Communications Company newspapers — including us! — are participating in an endeavor called Trust Week.

In a nutshell, it’s a week dedicated to highlighting what makes local news credible and vital to our communities.

No matter what size the newsroom — from the big guys in Fargo-Moorhead, Duluth, Grand Forks and Rochester; to the mid-size guys in Brainerd, Bemidji, Willmar and Mitchell, South Dakota, along with Detroit Lakes, Alexandria and Park Rapids; to us small-but-mighty weeklies in Pequot Lakes-Pine River, Wadena, Perham and Cloquet — we all have the same goal.

That goal is for you — the reader — to trust us to bring you accurate, truthful and meaningful news from your community.

We know people get their news from a plethora of sources these days. Unfortunately, not all those sources are trustworthy.



Trust Week is based on five pillars:

  • Train readers how to distinguish truth from fiction, especially when it comes to news.
  • Reinforce what makes us trustworthy compared to other sources.
  • Understand what readers want from us and what they expect from their news.
  • Sell subscriptions that support trusted community news and information.
  • Tell the stories of how local news (or lack thereof) has impacted communities.

You’ll find a story or two in this issue of the Echo Journal about Trust Week.
Online at , you’ll find more stories, as well as podcasts and videos that feature various people from our Forum Communications family talking about the Trust Week pillars and their jobs, including what we journalists do daily to bring you our news stories.

For example:

  • Where do our story ideas originate? 

Many story ideas come from people in our communities who pitch us ideas. We always welcome you to share story ideas with us. Send us an email or give us a call (be sure to leave a message).
We also find stories because, well, we’re just like you. We’re local people with local values who live, work and play in the same communities where our readers live, work and play.

We’re your neighbors with kids in the same schools. We shop where you shop, bank where you bank, eat where you eat. We’re friends on Facebook.

  • Where do we find our sources for stories?

Again, we turn to our communities. We talk to people - “interview” them - and write and/or record what they say. Then we turn our notes into a story.
Sometimes we interview just one person; other times we have many sources.

  • What makes us trustworthy?

Our Echo Journal newsroom is small, but we each have more than a decade (some of us have several decades!) of experience in what we do. We take our jobs seriously and are proud of the products we produce in print and online.

  • Can you trust us if we sometimes make mistakes?

Yes, you can. We’re human. We make mistakes, and we hate when that happens.
But we admit to our mistakes, correct them in online stories and write a correction for the printed newspaper.


Our role as journalists is to educate people - and that includes us. With every story I write, I learn so many fascinating tidbits when talking to people. It’s not uncommon for me to share a lot of information about myself during a story interview because I often find I have a lot in common with the person I’m talking to.

I encourage you to go online to and check out our stories and more during Trust Week. Please make a point to find our daily poll questions (on our website homepage, next to the obituaries) and answer them.

We’ve removed our paywall to provide free access to our website this week so even those who don’t subscribe or who haven’t activated their digital subscription can fully experience the value of local news.

Nancy Vogt, editor, may be reached at 218-855-5877 or Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter at

Nancy Vogt - Vogt's Notes.jpg
Nancy Vogt, PineandLakes Echo Journal Editor

Opinion by Nancy Vogt
Nancy Vogt is editor of the Pineandlakes Echo Journal, a weekly newspaper that covers eight communities in the Pequot Lakes-Pine River areas - from Nisswa to Hackensack and Pequot Lakes to Crosslake.

She started as editor of the Lake Country Echo in July 2006, and continued in that role when the Lake Country Echo and the Pine River Journal combined in September 2013 to become the Pineandlakes Echo Journal. She worked for the Brainerd Dispatch from 1992-2006 in various roles.

She covers Nisswa, Pequot Lakes, Lake Shore and Crosslake city councils, as well as writes feature stories, news stories and personal columns (Vogt's Notes). She also takes photos at community events.

Contact her at or 218-855-5877 with story ideas or questions. Be sure to leave a voicemail message!
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