This morning while reading the morning paper my mind drifted to North Iowa Today, the newly launched Website by local entrepreneur Matt Marquardt, and how it has changed the landscape in this city.
I think our local paper tries to be innovative but the restraints of traditional journalism are hard to shake. The Globe could be more progressive, they could hit harder if they wished, but they are not only mired in the past, but also must deal with layers of horrendous hierarchy accumulated over decades of existence.
More often than not, as the process moves to fruition the articles are gutted by some spineless editor who has his or her own agenda as to a whole litany on the way life should be lived according only to the view from their own window. Many editors are egomaniacal and feel the need to tweak articles by removing one or two sentences….for no other reason other than they can, and this can totally change the entire direction of the story. Then there is that small town syndrome which is very prevalent in towns this size. If you have lived here a long time you get to know a lot of people, perhaps not socially but rather on a first name basis; the person who works behind the window at the post office, the checkout girl at the supermarket, the owner of the café where you lunch, maybe it is someone who sits next to you in church, these people along with many more become a part of your daily routine and thereby are likely to receive subliminal consideration if you are writing something which may relate to them.
In many ways a newspaper decides who to vilify and who gets a pass, and when that holiest of privileges becomes comprised, as has occurred here with the inception of this news site, NIT, those who here to fore received anonymity from the paper, now find their blemishes reveled in the so called “open court” of public opinion for all to see, and this causes them great consternation and consequently they become very upset. That is to be expected, it is only natural. It also has fed the need to retaliate anonymously, to strike back at the nasty truth in some feeble attempt to salvage the dregs of whatever is left of their reputation. But it is what it is, and no under the table whispers to others to get them to cancel their advertising will work. There are no trucks pulling up here to unload giant rolls of newsprint or barrels of ink, there are not multitudes of desks with people sitting behind them that expect a pay envelope at the end of the week. This is cutting edge regional news at its best, stripped bare, unvarnished, no favoritism exists here as many have found out.
When invading a country, the first thing the invaders grab are the newspaper and whatever other media outlets exist; when you control the news you control the population.
Have a safe and happy new year. In the coming year speak your mind with civility, vote and become an active participant in community affairs and be kind to one another. Above all else, if you are a parent, be kind and considerate to your children, they have no voice in society and depend totally on you.