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Editorial Reflections

Caring, loving action and justice are outcomes of being empowered

As we celebrate The Fig Tree’s 30th anniversary, it has been a time this spring to reflect on “where we have been and where we are going” with The Fig Tree media.

We’ll sing a Salish song with those words in mind at our Anniversary Dinner on Wednesday, April 30 at Whitworth’s HUB.

Each year at our benefit events, we have asked our readers for support for our regular costs.  We expect to reach our 2014 goal of $20,000 from the benefits. 

This year, we are asking those who are able to give an added pledge of $300 to $3,000 a year for three to five years, above their current support.  The goal is to have the base for a stable salary for a staff person to help share the workload and invest in building a long-term, sustainable base of support for The Fig Tree media. 

We invite you to consider being one of those donors.  We include comments of benefit speakers below in Sounding Board and have the benefit video, “Empowering People,” at to motivate donations and be resources people can use to share our story with others.

The anniversary is a time to celebrate our story, to share who we are and why we do what we do.  Media each lend their own versions and visions of news by the selection of content and slant they publish. 

My grandson brings home assignments to mark if a statement is a fact or opinion, if it’s true or false.  Along with learning how to read, he is learning to discern about content and its truth.  Information shapes our world views, political views, understandings and misunderstandings of reality.  Information and how it is packaged can disempower or empower.

Fig Tree stories look at different perspectives of familiar stories.  We share insights of each person we interview, because each person has a nugget of wisdom to add.

We give glimpses into people’s lives as we tell how they are living their faith and values.  The “who” is a life journey that is the context to “what” the person is doing, “how” he or she does it and engages with other people “where” and  “when.”  Our stories feature reflection on “why” people are doing what they are doing. 

“Why” do they care?  “Why” do we care? “How” does others’ caring fuel our caring?

The basic journalism questions are the basis of our coverage.  We just tend to ask beyond the conflict, sensation and celebrity many media use to “sell” the story.  That’s where empowerment begins.

If we’re divided, we don’t connect with people who differ with us.  If we’re anxious about nuances, we may lose sight of the big picture.  If we focus on celebrities, we lose the value and insights of each person.  We empower people by stepping outside the usual “news” mode.  

Caring, loving action—involvement— that reduces suffering, ends injustice, builds peace and improves quality of lives is the outcome we hope happens.

Mary Stamp

Copyright © April 2014 - The Fig Tree