Boise City’s attempt to control the media and deny the GUARDIAN normal access afforded the news media took another turn Monday when we received this curt message from the police spokesperson:
FYI – You are no longer on the “media” email list. The list is for media only. Feel free to call me at my desk on this or any other issue.
take care –
The Police and Fire departments have now fallen in line with the rest of Boise”s information manipulators in denying us access to routine announcements and updates. We don’t claim any special status since we really represent the public’s “right to know,” but we should not suffer discrimination at the hands of our government either.
Seems the blogs at the newspapers and TV stations are “media,” but the GUARDIAN with no commercials or advertising fails to qualify as news “media” in the eyes of the local government. Must be the transmitter or printing press, but then the STATESMAN doesn’t even have a press.
It was only 10 days ago we posted a SHOUT OUT to Lynn Hightower (and wrote a nice compliment to her boss, the police chief.
The chief also called to invite the GUARDIAN to a press conference July 15 and gave the GUARDIAN a shout out when he announced a ban on officers texting on cell phones while driving.
We suspect the coppers got word from the office of Team Dave, but they will have to confirm or deny that themselves. Senator Crapo, Ada County, ACHD, and many others in government routinely send us releases. There isn’t a newsroom in the Valley that doesn’t read the GUARDIAN and many of the outlets routinely use our blog for story ideas.
KIVI CHANNEL 6 coverage. Click on camera icon above the GUARDIAN logo for the video which aired 8/9/10.
POET PAUL COULDN’T CONTAIN HIMSELF AND OFFERED THIS PAIR:
There once was a lady named Lynn
Who thought the Guardian committed a sin
For her position to come around
She needs to come down
From the Ivory Hightower she’s in!
Hightower, the cops mouthpiece
Says info to the Guardian must cease
So now we can’t
Get news of a different slant
When it’s about our local police!
To insure more advertising-free Boise Guardian news, please consider financial support.
Aug 10, 2010, 7:33 am
No BG, it’s not the lack of a transmitter or printing press, it’s corporate personhood that you lack which makes you an unworthy media outlet. Big media corporations are scrambling like ants under a magnifying glass to control the internet. What do you think goes on at the annual Allen & Company Conference in SV?
Can any of you lawyer types point out the law, statute, code or court precedent that defines a “media” outlet?
It’s not just access to government but access to the “internet tubes” themselves is under assault. Our own Walt Minnick is against net neutrality.
Though BG and I don’t always see eye to eye, I’m outraged by this obvious political posturing by City Hall.
Aug 10, 2010, 7:53 am
One more thing that’s somewhat related, I’m not a certified arborist but I pruned this willow obscuring the view of the last and biggest warning sign at the Americana Diversion Dam. I understand it’s a crime to prune any tree in any city park, so I hope the city doesn’t use this post to track me down and cite me.
Sorry for the poor quality, I only had my cell phone cam with me.
EDITOR NOTE– Cynic, I love ya man! Done in the true GUARDIAN fashion. Let’s hope the city doesn’t “de-list” you too.
Aug 10, 2010, 8:46 am
It would be interesting to get a copy of the list to see who IS there.
EDITOR NOTE–Great idea. We have filed the appropriate public records request for that list.
Aug 10, 2010, 8:51 am
I left a message on the Mayor’s Hotline last night, as soon as I saw the report that the Guardian is no longer a news source.
The City obviously wants to whitewash the Affairs of Community, and our “city fathers” have no intention of working with anybody whom they can’t spoon-feed. Witness the Reader’s Digest version of the mayor’s hotline… and now this.
I sincerely hope my fellow citizens are paying attention to what’s going on here… and make their opinions known now, and on Election Day. I’m disgusted!
Aug 10, 2010, 9:41 am
It seems like the people who run City Hall (everywhere, not just Boise) are still stuck in Jr. High School. It’s like a little girls’ tea party, but with millions of dollars of public money for the little girls to play with.
Are there any adult left in Government?
Aug 10, 2010, 10:28 am
Soon to accompany the Picayune’s “Boise Police Photo Project” [ i.e. http://www.youtube.com/user/porcupinepicayune#p/c/FBDA53B67CDDDD2C/0/UCdpDg_PJLY ] is the “Boise Officials & Quasi Governmental Officials Photo Project” that I suspect may be of interest to you and your readers.
The common theme is the observation from a respectable distance (ahem… Zoom) of Public Officials in the performance of their duties.
And Mr. Frazier,
I for one would support efforts to form some sort of co-op / association / etc of local bloggers and non traditional / citizen media.
I beleive it’s the only chance we’ve got to keep officialdom’s doors from slamming completely shut around here.
Aug 10, 2010, 10:51 am
I find this so interesting, contrasted with the web chat that I participated in last night with NBC New featuring their new Social Media News Director (who was hired specifically because the tradition media giant recognizes that the only way to remain relevant is to incorporate social media; specifically blogs, Twitter, and Facebook). The other panelists were NBC producers speaking about how they incorporate citizen journalism into their programing (including news) on a minute by minute basis. Twitter, blogs and Facebook is where the news people get their news now – a change they have adapted to in order to remain relevant. Perhaps remaining relevant is not of interest to certain organizations.
Aug 10, 2010, 11:10 am
Picayune… WELL DONE. This is a huge issue nationwide. For those not familiar with the issues, check out theagitator.com and this article in Reason. http://reason.com/archives/2010/08/09/police-officers-dont-check-the
Aug 10, 2010, 11:20 am
Dave you must be on City Hall’s Most Wanted list.
I am sure there is a fable about the king who taxed to much and built too big of castle. There by alienating himself from those he is ruling. I am could not find it, but maybe we have a new one in the making.
1. City Hall’s budget goes up while other agencies hold or decrease theirs. Now we find out officially, taxpayers are bringing home less bacon.
2. City Hall now decides who is media and who gets access to PR and other info. The gates to city hall are now closing.
I think Press Release should be made public to all. I would like to see the unfiltered press releases. I would suscribe to it much like I suscribe to the BG via an RSS feed. That would be Open Government.
Aug 10, 2010, 2:34 pm
Lynn Hightower has obviously forgotten from whence she came. I guess doing “puff pieces” for channel 7 qualified her as a “journalist”? She should be ashamed that she sold her soul to city hall, thus negating any credibility she ever had as a “news” person. The Guardian is, at certain times, the ONLY journalist in this friggin city! While the “mainstreamers” are trying to get approval from their editors, who are trying to warn city hall what they are going to print or broadcast, Dave is posting it in his blog! Who is the “journalist” here.
Aug 10, 2010, 5:28 pm
I agree with Clancy, other government entities post press releases on-line. Here is a link to the Fish and Game’s website as an example – http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/apps/releases/
Removing Frazier from the media e-mail list reduces transparency. He is a news source that digs deep into issues and many times gets to the root of the story. Obviously his non-conformance to the mainstream media reporting has Boise City hall on their heels,and accountability can be a tough thing.
Aug 10, 2010, 7:25 pm
Oh my god another conspiricy!!! Could it just be the fact that you have finally been recognized for what you are, a blog, a web site, not a news source. This is a site for people to air their grievances with news items that you put on the site etc etc, not a local, national or international news organization. So, plow forward, put on items you find interesting and items people will complain about and you are back in the business you have always been in.
Aug 10, 2010, 9:20 pm
Corruption is alive and well in city hall and the police dept.
Aug 10, 2010, 9:40 pm
Boise City government is making the politicians in DC look good. They should be embarrassed by that but probably aren’t.
Let the sunshine in!!
Aug 10, 2010, 10:23 pm
Steve – not sure what rock you live under but major universities teach blogging and webbing as core tools in journalism and blogs and web sources are quoted by other journalist daily.
Ms. Hightower is likely breaking the Idaho Open Records LAW…yes the LAW. Not good for a person that is representing the city’s highest law enforcement officer. Mr. Fraizer would likely win a case in court and Ms. Hightower would loose.
There is NO provision in the Open Records LAW for a department or any public infomation officer to make thr determination the Ms. Hightower has..in fact her comments about Mr. Frazier border on “personal attacts with no basis of fact” which can be slander.
It is time for the Police Chief to dismiss Ms. Hightower and follow the LAW.
Aug 10, 2010, 10:29 pm
Check out Lynn’s quote in this Boise Weekly article. How much money do you contribute to keep your “media” credentials Guardian? Maybe Lynn knows.
EDITOR NOTE–We will post the link, but it is three years old.
Aug 11, 2010, 12:12 am
Well “It’s thw LAW”, you may be correct about the universities teaching blogs to their journalist students, but id doesn’t mean a private person running one has to be given daily press briefings. If that were so, we should all be on the email list. Also, use spell check next time, its not “loose”, its lose, and its attacks not “attacts”, geez at least use half way decent grammar on this “BLOG”.
Aug 11, 2010, 1:47 am
Mr “Its the Law”, I am sure you are right about blogging being taught in journalism courses etc. However, since Mr Frazier is just a citizen running a blog, why should he be on the email list and not everyone else in Boise with a blog or website? Why should he be favored over others? Also, use spell check, its lose not “loose” and attacks not “attacts”.
Aug 11, 2010, 1:51 am
darn I put id, when I meant it.
Aug 11, 2010, 6:32 am
“why should he be on the email list and not everyone else in Boise with a blog or website?”
The more the merrier. It costs no more to email a large group than a small group. We have moved to the point that government can easily and cheaply be transparent. So why not? Some have accused Dave of having a personal beef with the Mayor. Dave has his opinions, but I don’t think he would fold the tent if Bieter were gone. And he does provide a lot of information that can’t be found elsewhere. Seems to me that the Mayor/City have the market cornered on “petty.” Dan compared it to a girl’s tea party. I think that’s unfair to little girls.
Aug 11, 2010, 8:39 am
“Why should he be favored over others?”
Because he requested it? Why shouldn’t the city send press releases to web forum operators? Because BG is not a “news” source? Define news source!
All the MSM outlets are moving towards the boiseguardian.com model of information dispensation, not the other way around.
And really, let’s suppose everyone wanted to be on the city press release mailing list. It’s a far easier thing to implement than installing rafter warning signs if you know anything about email database management.
Aug 11, 2010, 9:25 am
Steve; agree that not every citizen running a blog should be considered media. I wonder, is the Guardian some legal entity of its own, officially established for a specific purpose of information dissemination. Is the Guardian an LLC, S-Corp, Sole Proprietorship, Non-profit org, etc. If there is some legal entity behind the Guardian other than a private citizen’s hobby, then I see no grounds for the City to de-list the Guardian. FYI, it is cheap to go LLC in Idaho.
Aug 11, 2010, 9:51 am
Regardless of my previous comment, the Guardian being an official organization or not, this appears wrong since it appears the catalyst of the change was not difficulty managing a huge notification list or a need to better manage the list, but rather a slap in face for political reasons.
Aug 11, 2010, 9:56 am
If Boise City hall had an open government it wouldn’t matter to them who gets the pr news items.Anybody who desires this info should be allowed!
I certainly hope this stuff gets to the public and they vote these politicians with self beneficial agendas out of office!!!Raising the tax levy should be the final outrage of all Boise voters!
Aug 11, 2010, 10:28 am
Why should “Media” list be private any way? This is our police dept this is our govt. These email list should be open to all. I would rather get my information from the source.
And to say that this site is not journalism is ridiculous.
Aug 11, 2010, 10:34 am
oh and many might find this usefull
Aug 11, 2010, 12:31 pm
Well PR does mean PUBLIC relations. Anyone is a member of the PUBLIC. It’s almost as though Lynn Hightower has forgotten when she was on the other side of the microphone.
One would think the city would want to at least have the veneer of openness. Much easier than getting in a you know what match with people.
Aug 11, 2010, 4:39 pm
What could one call a society, where a single individual, under the authority of the Police, arbitrarily decides who is to be treated as a member of the “media” as capriciously determined by a PRIMA DONNA authoritarian standard of “behavior” attributed to a ‘wanna be’ Queen of Etiquette??? Oh – a Police State?!? Ja !!! Isn’t it time for ‘Evita’ to sing the Swan Song – as in …don’t cry for me, Boise. Hasta la vista baby … Sue her, Frazier !!!
Aug 11, 2010, 7:32 pm
The ironic part of this whole mess is that when reilly, euzel, and park realize how badly they screwed this up, they will toss Hightower under the bus in a nano-second. You should have known better Lynn. This ain’t your first rodeo!!!
Aug 12, 2010, 11:40 am
Overt acts like this is to ultimately control the media. I’m sure things like this goes on across the United States. We as citizens of the United States must constantly fight for our rights to free press,the revolutionary war, it seems is not over yet.
Aug 12, 2010, 8:39 pm
Public servants my @ss! It’s us vs. them, and they don’t like the truth or even a simple solution to something they can turn into an overtime event.
Aug 13, 2010, 12:56 pm
MS. HIGHTOWER DOES NOT DESERVE THE $33.20 AN HOUR THAT SHE MAKES (ACCORDING TO OURIDAHO.COM) WHEN POLICE OFFICERS THAT ARE RISKING THEIR LIVES TO PROTECT THIS CITY ARE MAKING LESS THAN SHE DOES.
Aug 23, 2010, 9:38 am
Seems pretty clear that BG qualifies as media, to wit, the New Oxford American Dictionary provides:
Media “…means of mass communication (esp. television, radio, newspaper, and the Internet)….
Time to appeal to the City Attorney and contact the ACLU.
Aug 23, 2010, 5:55 pm
While I’m unabashedly pro-growth and I disagree with The Guardian on a great many things, I think it’s outrageous for BG to be removed from this list. As fewer people pay attention to newspapers and TV, they are increasingly turning to blogs and Internet media to find out what’s going on. If a blog has established itself as credible and people are paying attention to it, then it needs to be on the media distribution list. The city shows its ignorance of modern communications and possible prejudice against dissent by doing this.
EDITOR NOTE–Thank-you sir. We agree with you on this issue as well!