What’s The Mission?

spanking time.

spanking time.

If you’re reading this little website of mine, you likely know me – or know of me.  You probably are aware I’ve been involved in the online news of Northern California in various ways for more than 5 years now. Admittedly, that’s not long at all, but it is a great deal of time in the sense that the news industry has been through a sea-change in those very same 5 years, and I’ve had a front row seat.  I’ve learned a lot of lessons along the way, and become much more aware of the significant and inexcusable shortcomings of the existing conditions among our current North Bay news providers.  I wish more people paid attention to some of these issues – otherwise, we get what we ask for – a virtual and immovable news monopoly.  Well, we’re there.  Still.

It isn’t easy to make money in the local news industry – especially as a startup, where it’s doggone impossible to get a foot in the door.  This has something to do with why we live in a one-(daily)rag-town.  That one, the elephant news organization in our community, has no alternative but to carry the major load for all of us.  The Press Democrat is one organization that most adults in the Redwood Empire look to for news.  (jake’s note: that’s ‘Redwood Empire’ – not ‘North Coast’)  I digress.

So, what are the editors thinking, really?

Very recently, the good reading public had to put up with nearly a week of The Press Democrat brass, from their plum positions (plum metaphor credit: Kevin McCallum), squaking about Santa Rosa City Officials keeping Santa Rosa City Council applicants secret until all applications had been submitted.  What a hoot that was, huh?  Newspapers FLEW off the shelves! (No, they probably didn’t.)

And now, now that all 17 applications are available for public viewing, The Press Democrat neglects to include or link these oh-so-important applications from any of their online articles about them!  (by the way – they are all right here, for your reading pleasure)

Am I alone in seeing the hypocrisy in that?  “Show the public” they cry – “Why are you keeping the applications and applicants secret” they whine… and now, now that said public servants, as promised, have made ALL the applications available on the internet for all to see, and consume for themselves – the PD insists, through omission, on being the sole source of information about these applications?

Who is making these 20th century decisions over there?  Really?  No links?  Nothing?

Nothing here (as I write this):
UPDATE: Names of Santa Rosa City Council applicants made public | Watch Sonoma County

Nothing here either:
Names of Santa Rosa City Council applicants made public

So I’ll leave you, good reader, with this:

I wanted to see for myself what candle I might be able to hold the Press Democrat up to…  I wanted to see how this 21st century invention – The Hyperlink – might be something worth their utilizing in an effort to BETTER INFORM THE COMMUNITY THEY SERVE.  Heck, they even suggest on their website: “hyperlinks encouraged”.   Really?

I was surprised to find that The Press Democrat has no public Mission Statement.  Local control?  Yes.  Mission statement?  No.  But on their “About” page – they do have this nugget:

“Unlike most other major newspapers, The Press Democrat has literally grown up with the area it serves. As Northern California continues to develop into the 21st century, so too will The Press Democrat.”

Prove it.

Use hyperlinks.  Attempt to educate your readers instead of simply broadcasting to them.  We’ll all be better for it.

~jake   shoot me an email if you have access to The Mission Statement.