|News in these here now United States
||[Apr. 19th, 2011|01:31 am]
The American Caliban
At the end of a Monday, this is the top news of a wealthy, well-known Southern California beach resort, population about 90,000. There's a lot going on in my town. News-type news happens! More than most cities this size. We have a harbor and a large beach.
But apparently the Register (and everyone else, really) decided to save $5 and fire all their reporters. Top stories here include two actual news items, two rewarmed press releases, three canned data stories, and a real estate tout. Just from hearing sirens during the day anyone can tell that a couple of those data-repeating or PR stories could be replaced with a car crash, for chrissakes.
The Register was never an excellent newspaper, but they did cover local news. If a column of smoke was rising from the Westside or 8 cop cars arrived at the high school, you knew they'd have something about it the next day.
Welp that's done!
What do you all think? What's the likely effect of disappearing local news over the next decade or so?
Half of these headlines read like sponsored search links.
If local news disappears, local officials will be able to get away with a lot of crap.
i swing both ways. i am really really tired of being over mediated, for example, by the kind of alarmist 4-6 p.m. local broadcast news which features "consumer" reportage such as how many germs there are on toilet seats, and how many pedophiles have moved into the neighborhood. their intent is to maintain the 40 per cent profit margin of TV stations, and to lead into the evening news. in other words, what is being purveyed is not news, but train wrecks you can't stop watching. my mother, who suffered from dementia, was much distressed in her last days by the same techniques used in weather reports, of exaggerating -- oh, let's say, the threat of the japanese tsunami to the virginia suburbs of d.c..
i say good riddance.
been reading recently about foundation-supported hyperblogs who move into small unmediated communities where the town council has run unopposed for the last 67 years, without any kind of coverage or transparency, and the effect is revolutionary.
it's the kind of journalism every j school grad thinks they're too good to cover, which is a big problem. i'll get you the very interesting url on the hyperblogs.Edited at 2011-04-19 05:06 pm (UTC)
To be honest, the only original stories I read from my local papers are the ones that I know will receive some heated, boilerplate responses from angry old white people. Reading opinions, however skewered and different from my own, amuses me to no end.
Along with firing reporters, papers are also whittling down their copy editors. If they cannot be bothered to invest in some quality, there is no real incentive for me to read high school level reporting.
On the other hand, I do love SFGate. They do not seem to take themselves too seriously, and their sense of humor shines on their site. I love them!