Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Do Local Papers Suck? I Think Not.

I’ll tell you again, the Advocate letters to the editor page is where you should be going to see what Stamford-ites feel strongly about. Often, it’s really, really boring things, which should tell you something about Stamford. Oh shoot- that’s mean. I want Stamford to be interesting; I hope it’s interesting. Maybe a lot of people with lively opinions complain to their friends and don’t take time to write the paper. We need more people writing in with fun complaint letters. Speaking of, I wonder if they take emails to the editor? I bet they do.

This recent letter caught my attention (just barely):

Over the decades, The Advocate has been reduced to a shallow form of its old self. More newsprint is used on things like Connecticut's film industry than the high school graduation rates in the state's urban areas, the over-incarceration of minority youth or the plight of the poor.
I think I’m going to write in saying that this person is wrong. The Advocate does cover that. Sure, it could cover it more, but that would be a really depressing newspaper. I think that would only work if The Advocate also amped up it’s fun factor, you know, balanced that deadly serious stuff with more articles by me on local nightlife and colorful characters. Advocate, I’m available. Actually, they’ve rejected two of my proposed articles, but no hard feelings. Maybe things were hectic with Tribune's pending sale of the paper. They were good ideas, too- but I covered them on the blog.
We all suffer when a vibrant city and region lacks a local newspaper that will challenge and question public officials and keep a watchful, informed eye on issues and trends, interpreting them for the rest of us.
I find politics dull, so I agree with the writer on the need for other people to do the interpreting for me. I know politics are important, but I’ll leave them to the people with the interest and attention span to follow them. I hope those people will report back to me with short yet accurate accounts of the important info, why I should care and what I can do. Seriously, someone needs to do that for this blog. I challenge you to tell me why local politics are interesting. I think papers believe they are doing a good job reporting info, but I need bullet points.

I must warn you, the letter about the paper is the 13th one down; you’ll have to scroll. That three foot long scroll is just one more example of The Advocate's poorly designed web page. It makes me want to cry if I think about it, because they obviously need help. I feel bad that they either can't afford a web designer, or no one is being honest and telling them how un-navigable their page is. I suppose I should write a letter about that.


Sarah said...

Just a note to say I enjoy your blog. I live in Norwalk and worked in Stamford until recently. Keep up the good word!!!

Jeff Herz - My View of the World said...

I agree that the Advocate could be better in reporting more details on what is going on, and actually giving an opinion on issues that matter once in a while.

However, the cost of reporters, journalists, etc. must make it cost prohibitive to do anything really in depth. It is sad when the editorials and commentaries are syndicated from other papers rather than having locals getting their points printed, unless you can keep it to under 300 words for the letters section.

But hey, that is just me. Keep up the good work