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MiriamRaftery's avatar

MiriamRaftery

Union-Tribune to fold its operation into the Los Angeles Times?

Part of the problem facing all newspapers today is the expectation that news should be free. People don't realize that they get what they pay for. If people cancel subscriptions and read all their news online for free, they are not supporting investigative reporting, community reporting, or quality journalism. It's dangerous not to have local news reporters; who will be there to inform you when a disaster or threat to public safety strikes? Who will be out in the rural, mountain and desert towns, inner city neighborhoods, etc. reporting on their issues, interviewing local candidates, covering local planning board and water board meetings? Consolidation is unhealthy in the media business, with so many local papers folding or being consumed by non-local owners. Already the UT has bought up many formerly independent papers like the Ramona Sentinel and North County Times and now the UT itself may go away to be replaced by a Los Angeles paper. San Diego is the 6th or 7th largest county in America. If readers here won't sustain a major regional newspaper, that's a sad state of affairs. In East County, many towns no longer have a newspaper of their own. Out of town conglomerates, some with political agendas, are taking over local TV stations. I edit East County Magazine, an online news source that is nonprofit, and nonprofits are struggling too with never enough donations and underwriters to cover our readers' demands for news they ask to have reported. Everyone who wants to keep local press should subscribe to, or donate to, or underwrite or advertise in publications that they want to see stay in town. Even if imperfect (the UT's political slant has shifted through the years) they are one of the only media outlets with the deep pockets to fund major investigative stories. If there are no newspapers, you'll be relying on government sources or propaganda from groups with agendas that may not be in the public interest--and what you don't know can hurt you.
— January 17, 2018 6:04 p.m.

Closing ceremony for Far East Project

This book is an offense to East County residents, reinforcing negative stereotypes. The "art" depicted in photos and paintings omits everything beautiful about East County. Instead we see graffiti, a used condom, chain link fences etc. While as a journalism I understand the need to show all sides of life in communities, that is not what was done here. See my editorial, "Far East Project Presents Skewed and Offensive View of East County": http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/node/11845#co... If they were so proud of their work, why didn't they debut it in East County but instead chose an urban area in San DIego? Why were rural residents' issues such as wind farms and powerlines, water shortages, hunger in the backcountry, ignored? Why was the natural beauty of our region omitted entirely from the visual portion of the book (though there are some nature shots on the website). Why was a Citybeat writer chosen to head a project about East County? Readers, please post comments of your own. Thus far our mail is running overwhelming against the Far East Project book, with the only support coming from its participants.
— December 2, 2012 11:31 a.m.

State Suspends Portions Of Brown Act

What a load of horse manure! In this day and age of the Internet there are plenty of ways to get word out to the public at ZERO cost regarding meetings and agendas. Many online media run these notices free or at minimal cost. The bare minimum required by law now is to tack the notice up in a couple of public places and notify any media that's asked to be kept informed. The latter can be done by email. They should be required to have MORE public notice, not less. How about mandating notices on websites for the agency or board, as well as email notices sent to all local media? As a news editor myself, we rely on these advance notices and yes, even the closed session notices. We've been able to ask for more info and require, for example, that a vague reference to litigation be clarified so the public knew who was suing the agency (and we could find out why). We've actually enforced the law and forced postponement of meetings where our media outlet was not provided the notice required by law before a public meeting. And when we DID get the word out, turnout has sometimes been huge. For example, a school board that made a controversial decision found itself facing an angry mob of 800 parents after we got word out about a meeting called on short notice and scheduled on a holiday; this was the largest crowd by far that district ever had show up for anything. On another occasion we forced a revote -- and the outcome changed--after we invoked the Brown Act. These notices are crucial for democracy! Shame on the Legislator for rolling back these crucial protections. I hope the lawsuit prevails.
— July 16, 2012 7:35 p.m.

New Design for Wind Turbines Debuts in San Diego

The actual photo is here: http://www.portofsandiego.org/images/stories/En... The vertical axis turbines are much better options to the monster wind farms being proposed in East County, which would be 500 to 600 feet tall with wingspans the size of a major jetliner. By contrast, these vertical axis turbines are just 30 feet tall. The giant wind turbines are slaughtering eagles and other birds of prey - one wind farm at Altamont in northern CA has killed thousands of eagles, which are supposed to be federally protected species. Why aren't the operators prosecuted? I'm all for clean energy but not if it massacres wildlife, so the vertical axis turbines seem like a better way to go. The big turbines also have human health effects and ruin views in our wilderness areas on federal forest lands. Better for each community to accept a few of these vertical turbines, and have incentives for companies and local governments to produce more of their own power with vertical axis turbines or better yet, solar on rooftops and atop parking/shade covers.
— January 1, 2012 10:34 a.m.

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