not even journalism
sounds good, right?
so today i'm reading for the second day in a row about a $373,000 state grant for an initiative conceived and implemented right here in the great and fair city of lowell, representing a unanimous cooperative effort between the city manager, the city council, and the various cities agencies (police, fire, etc.). (this time from the blog of the office of the city manager, yesterday it was from the office of the city mayor, via his aide, greg page). the story goes into some detail on how the city's "lowellstat" program has been selected to "lead the development of a common performance indicator system for several Massachusetts cities and towns" (amesbury, somerville, woburn and worcester) and how lowell is leading the state (this grant represents almost fully 10% of governor patrick's community innovation challenge grant program across the entire commonwealth, and was chosen competitively ahead of $20M in other proposals) in pursuit of better local government. is this true? watchdogs, please tell us!!!
hello? lowell sun?
if well over a quarter of a million dollars are awarded in a forest of city successes, does anybody hear?
no, we hear about plaster pericles being moved from one credenza to another, and how the mayor sucks, and how the city manager sucks, and how, basically, everyone involved in running this city sucks, (at least until they retire--there was a huge spread on judge chernoff's retirement), except, of course, the tireless and unreproachable watchdogs over there at the lowell sun who are sparing no effort or expense to keep us informed...
best i can tell, a few doughty, resourceful and indefatigable reporters pour heart and soul into their work, though having no hope through lack of numbers and resources of covering even a fraction of what's out there, and then the hit squad of sun editors work as hard as they can to butcher the headlines and the spin and the presentation of those pieces, while throwing in a few AP stories around the edges, and they call it a "paper". fewer and fewer people subscribe every year, yet they want to compare themselves to the utter absence of an alternative to claim to us (and to themselves) that they're doing a good job. did you know that barely half the folks in town cite the city's only newspaper as their news source about it? i read about it in the sun! (only their spin was that since fewer listen to local radio, that that's still ok).
american car manufacturers circa 1972 behaved a lot like this.
my thought is that, the moment a local paper is read by fewer than half the local citizens, the slippery slope steepens, and the end only accelerates.
local news? mcfly?
do you get it YET???