Monday, August 16, 2010

Not so random thought of the day

It's not too late... is it?

Jeff Gottlieb, one of the two L.A. Times journalists (Ruben Vives is the other) that broke the devastating story of the outrageous salaries and compensations of Bell, CA city officials, was on Chris Reed's outstanding Top Story radio show last week.

Reed casually joked with Gottlieb that both he and Vives were on the "glide path" to a Pulitzer prize in journalism. Gottlieb somewhat sheepishly observed that all they really did was use freedom of information/sunshine laws to obtain the information. He then said something that we thought was extremely important: (paraphrasing) What we did could only be done by a newspaper and a big one at that. A blogger could not have done what we did. When the city of Bell initially stone-walled us from obtaining salary and compensation documents, we simply told them that our lawyers would be the next people they would hear from. The muscle and prestige afforded by a renowned institution like the L.A. Times made breaking this story possible.

Gottlieb is 100% correct. We couldn't do what the Times did. And we don't think that say, either, The Liberator Today or The Scratching Post have the time and resources to essentially threaten the city of Bell with legal action if they did not release the documentation the Times was seeking.

This is why it is so important for the newsies to re-commit themselves to upholding the trust that exists between they and their readers with respect to being that watchdog of democracy.

For as much crowing as we like to do over the ascendancy of the new media, it's still the good ol' fashioned old media that is doing the vast majority of yeoman's labor when it comes to breaking stories like this.

We're newsies at heart - we grew up reading the newspapers and consider ourselves news geeks to the point that we can rattle off the dailies of about every major metropolitan area in this country and that is why it pains us even more to see the traditional print media behave so poorly of late. Technological and socio-cultural advancements are one thing, but there is no need to grab a shovel to assist in your own grave-digging.

So, c'mon newsies! If you are going to go out the way of the buggy whip, do it with some pride and integrity!

Welcome Hot Air commenters and readers! Many thanks to Leslie over at Temple of Mut for the link to this post.

1 comment:

Mutnodjmet said...

You're welcome, BwD! A great post like this deserves some attention -- I am glad to help! :)