Where do you get your local news?

September 3rd, 2019 by Ken

Never thought I’d miss The Olympian.  For decades I detested the paper for its negatives  – bias for Olympia, anti-Lacey, every liberal cause that came along, and haughty, with it’s “We’re too good for you” attitude.

But as time has progressed, I miss the paper.  With its 22 reporters and coverage of every local jurisdiction, it kept us informed.  Slanted perhaps, but informed nevertheless. 

We also had other local sources of news.   At one time KGY AM had three reporters who kept us up to the minute with local news.  Other local publications and newspapers also put their spin on the news – – The Lacey Leader and The Olympia News were two weekly newspapers that had their fling at covering the news.

The fact of the matter is, we have no local news coverage now.   I’m not talking about cable news with its fascination of Donald Trump.   I’m not talking about the Seattle television stations where the first five news stories are death, destruction and destitution.  Or The Seattle Times which focuses on similar stories.

I’m talking about local news.  Who’s covering our three city governments?  Who’s keeping tabs on our county government?  Who’s watching the school districts as they continue to spend more and more money?  Who’s looking at the actions of LOTT, Intercity Transit, Medic One – – all of the regional governments which have such impact on our community?

Almost no one is the answer.

The technological revolution has made our old ways of gathering and disseminating the news – – non-profitable.  You can’t make any money doing it anymore.

Today, we rely on local news, from those who make the local news. Every local city government has a newsletter and a Facebook page.  Every major regional body has similar means of communicating.  Those means of course are biased in favor of government action.  Most of the city council and county commission meetings are also broadcast on local television.  But, what happens behind the scenes?  What happens when the camera is turned off?  What decisions are made before the cameras are even turned on?

And ill-informed public is an ignorant public.  And the public is often asked to make decisions on issues and candidates on which they have biased information, or no information at all.

That had always been the responsibility of the local news media.  To inform and educate. 

We don’t have that anymore.

The Olympian still limps along with just three reporters, and what news they pick up they often get from other sources.  No local radio station does local news anymore – they can’t afford to.

We have local boggers, who write about local government.  But their writings are more often opinion pieces and not hard news.  Thurston Talk does a good job of telling stories about local people and businesses, but it has no hard news section.

We are ignorant.   We rely on word of mouth, conversations with friends, opinionated blogs and Facebook posts.

No community can exist very long when its citizens are ignorant. 

Posted in The Real News

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