A photo of Noah Glick, in a radio studio with a microphone sitting to the side of his face.

Growing up in a small town in Indiana, I never really thought of myself as a “news guy.” I didn’t really pay much attention to current events or politics, and I couldn’t tell you who the mayor of my hometown was. Everything on the news seemed so serious and well, boring. I didn’t really get why I should care, or understand how those things on the news could actually affect my life. I was fine – happy even – to stay uninformed.

But that started to change for me one day in my high school geometry class. The principal knocked on our classroom door and motioned our teacher to join him in the hallway. After a few minutes, our teacher returned with a solemn and somewhat confused look on his face, unsure of how to tell us all the news.

That day was Sept. 11, 2001.

I remember spending the rest of that school day watching as all the news networks played and replayed different camera angles of the planes crashing into the towers. In the following weeks, I would see videos and photos of people jumping from windows, commenters pushing conspiracy theories online, and an increase in calling those from the Middle East “terrorists.” It was still the early days of the Internet, but as we’ve seen, these trends have only gotten worse.

One thing I really remember from 9/11 is how no one, not my teachers, parents, or friends, could explain why this was happening. For once, I was actually looking to the news for answers, and instead of providing them, they gave me more angles of plane crashes. Even at 15 years old, I knew there was something wrong with this.

Fast forward about 19 months to the night U.S. and coalition forces began an invasion of Iraq, with live shots of the bombing from Baghdad being broadcast on every major TV network in America. Up to this point, I had only heard about war in history class. But now here I was, staring as bombs plastered Iraq’s capital, lighting up the screen with every new impact. Each flash on the screen, another building destroyed, possibly more people killed.

“I’m going to war,” I remember thinking to myself that April night, as I stayed up watching the footage. I was scared for the people of Iraq and scared for myself. “I’m going to get drafted,” I remember saying out loud as another bomb fell. I wasn’t prepared for any of this. I hadn’t been paying attention, and now I was left feeling like I’d been punched in the gut. Why didn’t I know about these people who hated America? Why are we fighting against Iraq and Saddam Hussein and not Osama Bin Laden? Who are these people anyway?

I felt like it was due time I start better understanding all of this “news” stuff. But, like everyone else, I’m a busy guy. I didn’t have time to research who all of these politicians are, what kinds of policies they wanted to pursue, let alone the intricacies of governance and how committees and subcommittees work. I didn’t know how to get started, without feeling like I needed a doctorate in American History.

I was confused, but determined to never be blindsided again. I kept up to date with my community. I followed the Iraq War and the George W. Bush era. Then the financial crisis of 2008 hit, followed by the Great Recession. Again, I was blindsided. What does ‘too big to fail’ mean? Wait, homes can essentially lose all their value? I still don’t understand what a subprime mortgage is exactly, and definitely didn’t back then. But, don’t you think, given the severe consequences of that crisis, we all should?

That gets me back to why I’m joining the Ally.

New Approach, Same Commitment

Journalism lecturer Jonathan Foster has for decades told his students, “If someone says it’s raining & another person says it’s dry, it’s not your job to quote them both. Your job is to look out of the fucking window and find out which is true.”

Too often, we see political coverage distilled into talking points, disagreements and conflict. The actions of elected officials – the decisions that impact our lives – are then distilled into sound bites and bickering, instead of looking under the hood at the policy. We turn to our news sources for understanding, and are left feeling more confused. That is by design.

Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin said this in a 2012 interview with New York Magazine discussing his show, Newsroom.

“If the entire House Republican caucus were to walk onto the floor one day and say, ‘The Earth is flat,’ the headline on The New York Times the next day would read ‘Democrats and Republicans Can’t Agree on Shape of Earth.’”

It doesn’t have to be like this, though. Instead of focusing on the political back and forth, The Ally is instead focusing on how the issues and actions of our elected leaders are affecting residents and life here. We’re working to bring you thoughtful reflections, accurate reports, and educational guides, as well as beefing up our audio features, which you’ll find online and broadcast on KNVC 95.1 FM Carson City Community Radio.

We believe all news stories should come with all the necessary context and background you need to make sense of our ever-changing world. We’re committed to delivering accurate reports and thoughtful reflections, rather than chasing headlines and “gotcha” quotes. And we’re prioritizing civics education over traditional political coverage.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your help.

Journalism is at a crossroads. Watchdog reporters are being laid off and replaced with sponsored content. Trusted local newspapers are shutting down, leaving space for partisan pundits with deep pockets to take over.

This threat is why I’m joining The Ally – to work toward the change our industry has long needed. As a local, nonprofit and independent news outlet, we will always work for you, not any political party or corporate interest. We think everyone deserves access to factual information, regardless of where they live, how much money they make, what they look like or who they love. Like the name implies, we are your Ally.

We can’t do it without you. Your financial support helps us build and achieve this critical mission of providing relevant, factual information to our region and beyond. We have big plans for the coming year, but we can’t do it without you!

Please make your year-end tax-deductible donation here.

I’m looking forward to stewarding a new era of news to the region, and hope you’ll join us. In the meantime, I want to hear from all of you! Please shoot me an email at noah@sierranevadaally.org, and let me know what you want to see more of in your local news.

To a brighter 2023 for all of us!

Noah Glick & The Ally

Noah Glick is Executive Editor for the Sierra Nevada Ally. He is an award-winning journalist, writer and audio and podcast producer, whose work has been heard nationally on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and more. He is a multiple regional Edward R. Murrow Award winner for his reporting on climate, energy, and housing.

Founded in 2020, the Sierra Nevada Ally is a self-reliant 501c3 nonprofit publication with no paywall, a member of the Institute for Nonprofit News, offering unique, differentiated reporting, factual news, and explanatory journalism on the environment, conservation, and public policy, while giving voice to writers, filmmakers, visual artists, and performers. We rely on the generosity of our readers and aligned partners.

The Sierra Nevada Ally has been selected to receive $15,000 in matching funds from NewsMatch 2022 for our dedication to serving our residents with local news about issues that impact their lives and support civic engagement. 

NewsMatch 2022 is a fundraising initiative sponsored by The Institute for Nonprofit News (INN). We are a full member of INN, one of only two such publishers in Nevada. Between November 1, 2022, and December 31, 2022, your gift will be doubly matched since 

The Loud Hound Partner Fund also awarded us matching funds to cover important civic, environmental, cultural, and political issues that impact our citizens’ lives. 

Join us and triple your support of the Sierra Nevada with a gift today for up to $1,000 per gift.

On behalf of all of us at the Sierra Nevada Ally, thank you for your generous support.