iePolitics ran an AP story this morning that I found interesting. It deals with the way in which newspapers subscriptions and readership is counted. As we know, U.S. newspapers are losing subscribers at a staggering rate. But a few dailies stand out because new auditing rules have made it easier for them to say their circulation is rising. That’s because new auditing rules have made it easier for some newspapers to count “bundled” subscription to both the print and electronic editions.
However, my motive for posting the above-mentioned story is that it allows me to discuss our two local newspapers: The Desert Trail and the Hi-Desert Star.
I’ve been unkind to our local newspapers at times, while other times I’ve consistently held they’re interesting papers I enjoy reading. Actually they are both. They are interesting and they fail the community. Let me explain. Both papers are well written and informative when dealing with local news.
But what about the news that does not get reported. News it sidesteps. The tough issues. The issues in which the paper doesn’t want to be involved in for reasons that the publisher may not want aired. Perhaps it’s other reasons that would require some gumshoeing. Or concerns that never see daylight because it may require probing into areas that could be uncomfortable for city or community leaders. Issues or news that require good old fashion investigative reporting.
The local newspapers shouldn’t be so tether to most all political issues in the community for whatever reasons that work for them. They shouldn’t be so constrain by a social, legal, political, or moral tie in the community. The newspaper and the press should always be first in line. The right of the community to be informed is paramount. A Free Press in action should never be compromised.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to pick up an issue of the Trail or the Star and read ‘all about it’ on some local hard issues or controversies once in awhile. Issues wherein a newspaperwoman or reporter buster her ass on clearly revealing all sides of her prized masterpiece. A story that was truly probing, well-rounded in its investigative reporting and one that was objective and fair to all sides — no matter what or who was involved? A story whereby the reporter was driving the story, not the publisher.
Thank you Cactusthorns for providing this space, unaltered or un-swaying, allowing me to write what I think need to be aired.