There is little the other blog and I agree on. I don’t write about it as nearly as often as they do, but even I reach a point where I can’t keep my mouth shut when it comes to the sad state of affairs in terms of local news coverage.
Every time I hear about a newspaper going under, it makes me sad. Newspapers, traditionally, were a very important part of our daily lives. They were so important that our forefathers gave them protection in the very first amendment to the United State Constitution. It’s too bad today’s publishers, editor’s and writer’s do not respect and live up to the place they hold in history that made this country so great. Instead, it has become all about the money.
And who has the money these days? The government does for one. With all the money goes all the control. And our local newspapers are a prime example.
Our local papers are in financial distress, there is no doubt about it. But they did it to themselves. Readership would not be down if they had not been so arrogant when Internet news sites first started popping up AND if they stayed true to their calling. Instead they have sold out to the highest bidder.
In San Bernardino County there are two highest bidders: local government and the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. Both contribute greatly to the local newspapers’ bottom lines with advertising. It’s no wonder the county, and even some local governments, can quash stories or get very one-sided stories printed. All they have to do is threaten to pull advertising. It works.
In the Victor Valley, the story is the same but also has the added feature of Supervisor Robert Lovingood’s temp service which gave many of the Daily Press’ staff members their starts. There is a very, very close connection between Lovingood and the Daily Press. It shows every time they write a story about him to counteract one of my stories.
Government advertising dollars reign supreme at the Daily Press when it comes to Hesperia and Apple Valley. I swear the reporter who covers those cities must be on their payroll. I’m not sure I have ever seen more one-sided reporting. It is shameful.
I never thought I would cheer for the demise of the local press, but I am almost there. The lack of integrity is mind-boggling, and I don’t say that without justification. I only wish I could share with all of you what I know in reference to some of the biggest stories in the past few years. As I said, it is shameful.