How do you obtain legitimate community news? You know…accurate, truthful and informative facts on local events, legal notices, activities, politics and issues.
Every community in America wrestles with this same problem. The internet and social media have permitted the average Joe to post stories, opinions and adulterated information that is full of speculation or assumptions, which gives rise to the modern rumor mill.
Santa Clara is not exempt, nor are most communities.
It virtually costs nothing for any person to throw up a blog on the internet that has the look and feel of community news. Here they post stories which most often are intended to incite and direct. Often there is the intention to misinform, and frame stories with a desired opinion and prejudice.
Regional newspapers have lost their edge to internet giants when it comes to reporting regional and national news, and these giants can do it instantly.
Conversely, community newspapers have been on the rise, providing coverage for local news not available from these giants.
Community newspapers have increased their circulation and revenues because they have come to be recognized as the only reliable source for local content and outreach.
However, community newspapers are not without their foes. The biggest issue faced by nearly every community paper is local politicians. While local politicos often describe their actions as transparent, they usually are not. Elected officials’ actions in a small community are seldom covered by regional newspapers or TV stations.
This is where community newspapers score with their readers, and these papers are often a thorn in the butt of politicians.
This is true in Santa Clara.
Having published The Weekly every week for the past 40 years, been officially adjudicated by the County of Santa Clara for those 40 years, operated in the same office space for 20 years, the Santa Clara City Attorney wants us to now prove that we are a qualified newspaper.
Of course, it would have nothing to do with this column. A column that has been critical of the Mayor and her three thoughtless Councilwomen. Did I mention we have questioned many of the decisions of this Council and their appointed City Manager who manufactures her own news?
City Attorney Brian Doyle believes Santa Clara is correct in appealing the California Voting Rights Act lawsuit the City lost. This appeal will cost taxpayers millions, win or lose (No city has ever won an appeal on this issue). Especially since this Council and attorney Doyle totally ignored two separate warning letters since 2011.
Community papers are under attack for telling the truth (which is not appreciated by many of our elected and appointed officials).
While this is an opinion column, The Weekly is full of fact-filled stories that permit readers to form their own conclusions. This is why community newspapers are considered dangerous to elected regimes. There is not a major interest in you, the voter, doing your own thinking.
What an indictment.
Be thankful for those Council Members who still have ideals that reflect the values of truth, integrity, openness, honesty, vision and community.
We need more of these individuals on our Council to replace the mental casualties we have elected.
Also, congratulations to Police Chief Mike Sellers who retires Friday having spent 40 years standing and speaking for what is right, truthful and beneficial to all. Salute to you sir.