The Former Editor of the Union (FUE) is whining about gatekeeping by our local newspaper editors, specifically the Union and Auburn Journal, on his blog this morning. Full post is HERE.
One of the main reasons that I am a blogger was, and is, the gatekeeping at The Union. It was especially egregious while the FUE was the the Editor. My letters and Other Voices often just vanished, never to see a printing press. This turn of the screw is more than amusing, it is true schadenfreude.
The FUE writes:
But as an avocation, Gary and I write personal blogs that question the status quo of politics in our foothills communities: The “good old boys/girls network” if you will. Gary is from Chicago; I’ve lived in Chicago but also on “The Coast” as a native Californian. Nobody pays us for this commentary, and it comes at our own peril.
Regular readers are familiar with the contents of this blog, Sierra Foothills Report. Gary’s is titled “The Other Side of Auburn.”
“In a nutshell, you’ll get information about what is happening in Auburn that the local newspapers will not report,” as Gary writes. “I get it that this is a small town and the local media can’t afford to piss off potential advertisers. I get it that there are very few newspaper jobs available, so writers and editors have to toe the corporate line. . .or they’ll be replaced by others who will.”
Yes, the internet is changing how we communicate in small towns — on blogs, on Facebook and on other social media.
It might be “disruption,” to quote a Silicon Valley buzzword. But it is OK for residents to hear a variety of voices rather than a bottleneck of communications that has existed for decades.
My hope is that we can do a better job of embracing diverse voices, locally and nationally.
The trend was identified long ago by a college professor of mine at UC Berkeley named Ben Bagdikian. He wrote a book called the “Media Monopoly,” and it was an eye opening account on the concentration of media.
I wonder how much time the FUE thought about the impact of his gatekeeping when he was the Editor of The Union? My guess he was a good corporate lackey when it come to editorial policy. Conservative voices in the community have been complaining for years about the gatekeeping and now the left is growing concerned that they are at the gates and no one is paying attention.
Equally interesting it the plea for multiple voices. When a conservative writes a letter to the editor the left does not like, the back stabbing comes out and they flail away, demanding these conservative voices be stilled. A good example is a letter by Norm Sauer which was attacked by the FUE HERE. So much for “embracing diverse voices”. Is he a hypocrite?