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Newsroom consolidation means loss of public 'watchdogs'

Original post made by Gina Channell-Allen, president of the Pleasanton Weekly, on Aug 8, 2007

Aug. 13 will mark a day that will change the landscape of media in the East Bay.

This story contains 535 words.

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Comments (7)

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Posted by Jack Hovingh
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Aug 10, 2007 at 3:00 pm

A great observation by Ms Channell-Allen. As the so-called main stream newspapers consolidate, the citizens of Pleasanton are deprived of differing opinions resulting in the effective loss of their freedom of speech by virtue of limitations caused by the editorial reductions of diversity in the press.

In addition, the limitation on the time allowed by the mayor of Pleasanton at the City Council's portion of the meeting open to the public from 5 minutes to 3 minutes constitutes an effective gag on the public.

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Posted by Becky Dennis
a resident of Foxborough Estates
on Aug 13, 2007 at 10:12 am

I agree. (Jack, we have to stop meeting like this!)I will miss the days when, in describing the uniqueness of our "small town", I would point out that we had two major dailies published in town, and 2 weeklies covering our local news. Each view on issues was(is)somewhat unique, so I read them all.

News enterprises face a difficult problem because of the changes in media. First radio, then TV, now the internet. I'm not so worried that the presses will stop. Paper and ink is pretty inefficient. The real problem is how will journalists make a living, especially covering local news?

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Posted by Mike
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Aug 13, 2007 at 3:34 pm

Newspapers being bought and sold represents another important aspect of the American way of life - Free Enterprise.

Our Watch Dog, Free Speech and Editorial Variety instincts should be pushing us toward starting up a new Pleasanton paper to replace what is being chipped away with the sale of the old.

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Posted by No Name
a resident of another community
on Aug 13, 2007 at 6:49 pm

Pardon my cynicism, but, with the current agenda of many American newspapers, I almost cheer every time I read of newspaper consolidations, reductions in force, and shrinking profit margins.

RIP American media.

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Posted by Steve Brozosky
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Aug 13, 2007 at 11:52 pm

Good to hear from you Jack and Becky. I also feel that the consolidation of the papers is a loss to the community. The more papers writing for the area gives us different viewpoints as well as different styles. Plus with more writers in an area, a writer can take the time to do real investigative reporting.

However, a newspaper is a business and is here to make money. They need to fill the paper with content that people want to read so they can increase distribution and charge the advertising rates they do. This is no different then any other media.

While we live in an educated community, most people are so busy with their lives (jobs, kids, etc.) that they do not have time to consistently read the paper. Also, because of their fast-paced lives, a lot of people want to read good news or “infotainment” so we end up with more reporting of what is happening around town than investigative reporting. Believe me, there is more happening in this community than is being reported but either the newspapers don’t have enough space to print it, or they don’t feel the readers really want to read “the rest of the news”,.

The Internet is giving a real challenge to the print media but like Becky stated, how does a journalist make money on the Internet? Talented people can write blogs but unless they make money off of it, it will not be their highest priority (i.e., not a real job).

As for the mayor limiting the time to 3 minutes for speaking at a council meeting, for items on or off the agenda, it certainly gives the perception that her mind is made up already and doesn’t really want to spend the time listening to the public. A real shame. I have been real proud of the fact that people in this community took the time to come to council meetings. It is Democracy in action.

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Posted by baron
a resident of Ridgeview Commons
on Jan 11, 2009 at 10:24 am

(Post removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff as irrelevant to this thread.)

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Posted by booster
a resident of Ridgeview Commons
on Jan 13, 2009 at 1:26 am

Post removed due to irrelevant content

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