Saturday, July 22, 2006

I caved in

I've not posted here for too long a period. My apologies. Both a heavy work load and a week off have contributed to a lack of activity.

I caved in this week and wrote part of my editorial column about the president's veto of the stem cell research bill. I was a little desperate.

I have four different editions that serve 12 communities. Sometimes I'm able to write one column and the subject matter is regional enough that it fits in all editions. Sometimes I write two and on rare weeks even more than that.

I think writing about state events from a western Massachusetts perspective is legitimate, but I always feel that I'm cheating when I write something that is national.

After all there are many (some might say too many) pundits out there in papers and blogs following the national stuff, while there is too little discussion of local and regional issues in our local press here.

It's getting back to my mantra of "Local, Local, Local."

In most markets our size or smaller ( we're the 108th largest or so) there is far less discussion of the issues and events that affect readers the most. It's the local media's duty to bring up discussion and provide venues for citizens to share their views.

And while there used to be a fair amount of that discussion going on in various arenas, it's happening less and less today as corporate media take over more and more outlets. The suits then run the outlet ( radio, television or paper) for the maximum profit with the minimal investment. Corporations like to play things safe and having people speak about issues requires local editorials on television, local talk show hosts on radio and local columns in papers. It's cheaper to buy into syndicated material and consumers seem to accept it because they don't have a choice in many areas.

So with a reporter out on vacation, politicians laying low in many towns in the July heat and having a brain that was fried by the end of the week, I took the easy root and wrote part of a column on Bush and his veto. Maybe I'll get a few letters.

Hey, it happens.

©2006 by G. Michael Dobbs. My words. My responsibility.


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