GUEST OPINION by Sisyphus
The Statesman spilled much ink in the Sunday editorial section vaunting its newly promulgated organization which it touts to help provide some leadership on where to take the Treasure Valley in the next century. But look at this list, chucky jam full of Arid Club/IACI members, some of whom took out ads, which were not tucked away in some other section of the paper, but boldly set forth in the editorial section itself, as if these guys didn’t have enough ink already.
The visionary group is virtually devoid of people of color, a paucity of women and fails to represent disadvantaged groups like people with disablilities. Moreover, there are no City or County planners, absent a representative for a private interest know as Smart Growth, no people representing environmental, open space, water or ag concerns, few from the arts and entertainment community, none from the religious community, and very few who would represent the poor. Much of this professional collection seems contrary to the vision’s stated objectives. Sure they throw in the occasional non-profit representative but they’re all people whose livlihood depends upon networking through these same monied interests. Almost all had the potential to throw some money to advertising in the Statesman. Indeed, to apparently emphasize the conjunction, several corporate members double as editorial board members.
Newspaper revenues are tanking and networking advertisers helps secure an important source of revenue. But the Statesmen undermines an equally vital aspect of a newspaper, its credibility, when it tries to pawn off to its loyal subscribers some marketing machination as an altruisitic method to provide leadership to the people of the Treasure Valley. Thus, whether intentional or otherwise, it appears obvious for whom the Statesman owes fealty, members who comprise nothing more than a glorified meeting of the Chamber of Commerce. While the economy is on everyone’s mind, many don’t agree that the voice of business should necessarily dominate the discussion.
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