Apart from endless stories about BSU football, we have noticed a paucity of local news content in the STATESMAN of late.
Not only have they cut staff–and consequently coverage–the paper has put staffers on a rotating “furlough” system that results in a week of no editorials with the pages being filled by syndicated columnists or free locals wishing to sound off and stale features from Boise and Canyon staffers who are put in “time out.”
It is particularly worrisome for the GUARDIAN because we shamelessly depend on “real reporters” to offer up a blend of news for us to commkent upon and offer our “different slant.” Without the daily, we end up breaking stories that rightfully belong on page one of the STATESMAN. The state land board going into the storage business is a recent example.
Meanwhile in Eastern Idaho, the TV stations in Idaho Falls have entered into a joint news and sales agreement which puts even more newsies out of work. We look for the trend to expand to Treasure Valley soon. Even the STATESMAN has hired the much smaller Idaho Press Tribune to print the paper–which means earlier deadlines.
With papers so full of ads that carriers need chiropractors and back braces, we hope the DAILY can see its way clear to pay for staffers that will give us some real news. We need news from professionals with some institutional memory.
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Dec 12, 2010, 12:18 pm
I agree the Statesman has lost direction. Who do we blame it on?
Leadership! When do we find leadership in these company’s?
Dec 13, 2010, 2:42 am
Oprha and JudgeJudy are lacking content and look what it got them. The paper is a reflection of the community in many ways. However, I think the slide started when the papers started to advocate instead of investigate and report. The major institutions like the GrayLady, BBC, and WSJ admit to bias and agenda. I can’t trust it now, can you?
Dec 13, 2010, 10:24 am
I find it funny that the statesman (boise bama booster) has pretty much fallen apart, could it have anything to do with their VERY BIASED liberal slant they put on so many news items over the past 2 years?
I have often participated in comments on the statesman web site and have noticed they have started to slant very hard core towards conservative postings, and blasting the current administration. Now for some oDd reason “poof” comments are gone, or impossible to post due to recent changes ….. LOL
EDITOR NOTE–Regardless of the “slant” we truly need a local news source that serves to inform the citizens of the area, provide an institutional memory, and offer up a daily dose of information. Newspapers certainly don’t need to act alone, but today’s internet serving–like the GUARDIAN–is like a radio station’s musical identity…those who like a certain style of music listen. There is no obligation to offer up a blend that appeals to a variety of folks.
Me thinks people are finally starting to figure it out. VOTE WITH YOUR DOLLARS, if the local paper is a biased rag waste of a bird cage liner then DON’T SUBSCRIBE TO IT!
Dec 13, 2010, 12:31 pm
“”EDITOR NOTE–Regardless of the “slant” we truly need a local news source that serves to inform the citizens of the area, provide an institutional memory, and offer up a daily dose of information. Newspapers certainly don’t need to act alone, but today’s internet serving–like the GUARDIAN–is like a radio station’s musical identity…those who like a certain style of music listen. There is no obligation to offer up a blend that appeals to a variety of folks.
I agree with you there is no “obligation” to offer up that blend, but to ensure survival regardless of which way the political pendulum swings it would be smart to at least present the appearance of not being biased.
What kind of “institutional memory” will we have if it is so biased and skewed that it isn’t a representation of the truth anyways?
The boise bama booster (statesman)spent the last 2 years being so liberal it made me sick, seems for quite some time the ONLY comment posters were the “elite liberal North End clique” and any who attempted to post opposing opinions were BLASTED off the site as fast as they could post….
Dec 13, 2010, 2:08 pm
WTF? Sheeple bleating “liberal media”? Certainly that isn’t the problem of a paper whose editorial page ranges from David Brooks to Krauthammer to George Will with an occasional Leonard Pitts. If exposing Larry Craig’s conviction for trolling for anonymous sex in public bathrooms is liberal, then I’m a liberal.
Great comment Dave. I noticed the paucity last week with neither the politics blog or Richert’s receiving any new fodder. Betsy Russell seems to be doing the work of a dozen reporters these days.
I’ve been lamenting the demise, not of the newsprint medium, but as you say, the fact that there are precious few media outlets who obtain and deliver news in a fact based format, the bulk of which newspapers used to perform. Democracy can’t survive without watchdogs who perform the service full time. I find it very ironic that a newspaper’s own business model is rapidly contributing to its demise. Instead of jealously guarding their content behind pay walls they should be doing everything they can to increase traffic.
Dec 13, 2010, 3:07 pm
It broke my heart – but served up nothing in the way of surprise – to read about the 14 staffers of KIDK-TV being kicked to the curb by Fisher in Idaho Falls. Larry Roberts is, after all, the man who gleefully reported to a group of broadcasters and former bradcasters that KBOI-2 is in most dayparts operated remotely via fiber-optics from Seattle . Even the local news on 2 is now directed and switched by a single individual in the “satellite center” using robotic cameras, etc. More people eliminated from the equation.
I also agree that it likely won’t be long before we see such “joint” agreements in this market.
What mystifies me (I’m certainly not a lawyer) is that anti-trust laws apparently don’t apply in such cases. How does this maintain or further competition and how is the public better served by such arrangements?
Dec 13, 2010, 3:18 pm
I think what we are witnessing is a fundamental shift in journalism that on the local level is moving more towards consolidation and collaboration. After 2001 media outlets were forced to alter their business model to accommodate downsized advertising revenue, that shift has once again taken place but this time on a more permanent level.
There will always be a need for traditional media but I think it’s safe to say the number of outlets, especially in a small market like Boise, is only going to get smaller.
Then again, why would anyone young journalist want to get in the business and make $24,000 a year when they can be a public relations officer for $60,000?
Dec 13, 2010, 3:20 pm
I totally agree with Sys. He forgot to mention the right wing cartoon Mallard Fillmore. It is the sheeple alright. They get all their talking points from the likes of Limbaugh, Hannity and Savage.
Dec 13, 2010, 6:07 pm
The Statesman remains a profitable paper but the parent company McClatchey News is treating it like a cash cow as they continue to lose money. It was the same way when Gannet owned it, just the cuts weren’t as draconian.
Dec 13, 2010, 6:41 pm
So when the Idaho Daily Mistaken on a Sunday has Maureen Dowd (does she have a point in her meandering?) and Thomas Freidman does that mean that they have a conservative bias?
Give me a break. Anybody can cut and paste stale columns into the Sunday paper. The fact remains that they are cutting and pasting rather than coming up with their own columns. Although mostly the Staleman’s original columns revolve around supporting any tax and spend scheme they see.
I find it hard to believe that they can’t come up with an editorial every day much less 3-4 times a week. There’s a plethora of commentable stuff at the local, state and national level.
But when your main reporter (who needs stuff spoon fed to her) is Cynthia Sewell, I guess you’ve hit rock bottom. Popkey fades in and out. It’s terribly sad, but not as sad as their website.
Dec 13, 2010, 7:59 pm
Today’s paper was a joke. (as were many others throughout the past two years) The local High Schools compile more news in their publications. While I continue to subscribe (yes I know it is contradictory) I also subscribe to the WSJ & NYT to balance the news…I also scan three to four others on a daily basis just to get real news and keep abreast of important issues. Of course, the USA Today is always good for sports and puzzles; it is truly a shame we cannot get a good cross section of real news issues in the local press. The bottom line; we have to go outside the local area to stay informed (or read the Guardian!)
Dec 13, 2010, 9:18 pm
I get my daily paper and the first thing I flip to is the Editorial pages. Used to be this was a direct pulse on the community.
I can also remember when reporters really got the time from their publishers to dig below the surface of the tepid press releases handed out by city hall and the county commissioners.
Now they all live in fear of being cut off from those press releases. Hmmm the BG got this treatement from Ms. Hightower at the Boise PD over some petty slight handed down by our beloved Dave posting a sign the maven of PD news releases found insensitive.
I want to see some people held accountable and their goofy actions plastered in huge headlines above the fold. Where is the National Enquirer at least they knew how to keep my interst in the grocery checkout lines.
Dec 14, 2010, 12:45 am
Hey! Hey! Hey! Watch it Guardian! The new size of the outsourced Statesman makes a perfect covering for Phoebe’s “condo”. No more having to “fold to fit”. I just read through it on it’s way to it’s real destination. I position the editorial page directly over her night box and believe me, there is a certain amount of gratification when a blue-front Amazon does her “business” on it.
Dec 14, 2010, 9:13 am
“Sheeple” LOL now THAT is funny! one of the bama boosters, a special member of the “yes we can” clique using a word like “Sheeple” to describe someone else… OK now I get to laugh the rest of the day Thank you.
“If exposing Larry Craig’s conviction for trolling for anonymous sex in public bathrooms is liberal, then I’m a liberal”
Funny you didnt mention Rangel, or Bill Clinton teaching an entire generation of American children the president LIES so it must be ok, or The prior Mayor of DC caught on video smoking crack with hookers, or Kwame Kilpatrick in Detroit, etc. etc. etc…..
Truth be told ALL POLITICIANS ARE CROOKS! Get it?
The huge difference is that at least the republiCROOKS seem to be able to do simple math, and understand if they aren’t letting businesses grow and make money they don’t have anyone to steal (tax) it from.
The demoRATS/liberals on the other hand are too busy taking money from all those “evil rich people” and creating their next generation of welfare voters. SIDE NOTE ON THAT THOUGHT, THE LIBERAL DEMORATS ARE ALWAYS CRYING ABOUT EVIL RICH PEOPLE….. FUNNY BECAUSE ACCORDING TO FORBES 6 OF THE TOP TEN WEALTHIEST POLITICIANS ARE …… DRUMROLL PLEASE……. DEMORATS!!!
OK Honestly anyone surprised by that? if you were please feel free to put your head back in the sand and patiently wait for your next welfare check.
Dec 14, 2010, 9:24 am
Thanks for proving my point for me so well. you just keep on bleating right along with the rest of the sheep “yyyyyesss we cccaaannnn”
Dec 14, 2010, 3:48 pm
The biggest problem with news bias is not in the events at the time but in the future. Folk researching events cannot find the entire story if the papers who cover issues only cover ‘their side’. always treat ‘their politicians’ well and avoid (bias by omission) stories that paint ‘their agenda’ in a bad light, regardless of how warranted or true that bad light is.
How does one look up the other side when the Times, Post and Statesman only cover one side?
Dec 14, 2010, 3:54 pm
“I totally agree with Sys. He forgot to mention the right wing cartoon Mallard Fillmore. It is the sheeple alright. They get all their talking points from the likes of Limbaugh, Hannity and Savage.”
Dog, I am endlessly amused at the pretense that the right gets its talking points from talk radio while the left all, simultaneously, and after deep research, produce their talking points spontaneously…Remember the great ‘Gravitas’ issue when Cheney was first picked by Bush as a VP candidate? Within 30 minutes every liberal media source and thousands of political forums were awash with the use of the word, one that was 100% absent 45 minutes earlier.
Dec 14, 2010, 5:53 pm
Looks like you’re getting troll heavy traffic Dave. Just a reminder that a troll is someone who makes off topic comments in an effort to provoke an emotional response. Its a dead giveaway when they have little regard for spelling, grammar and punctuation and an uncontrollable desire to yell by using lots of allcaps, reminiscent of a belligerent drunk at the end of the bar.
I’m all in favor of a little banter, but this place is starting to look like a refuge for people kicked off the Statesman blogs. I’d hate for that to happen here.
Dec 14, 2010, 6:13 pm
“Funny you didnt mention Rangel, or Bill Clinton teaching an entire generation of American children the president LIES so it must be ok, or The prior Mayor of DC caught on video smoking crack with hookers, or Kwame Kilpatrick in Detroit, etc. etc. etc…..”–uh, no because these are not something the Statesman was responsible for disclosing. But since you’re interested in cleaning up, perhaps you could start with the hypocrisy in the senate with two scandal plagued senators named Vitter and Ensign.
Welfare state? Thou art Idaho. This state’s economy would dry up and blow away without federal aid in the ag, mining, ranching, military, nuclear, and other industries. The sooner Idahoans realize that fact the sooner we’ll address our sagging economy here. And did you know that Idaho is by far the biggest provider of food stamps, welfare boy?
And what a sorry state of affairs when people will vote to allow the rich to continue to use government to reach into their pockets. There hasn’t been this disparity in income since 1928. And some people are so stupid that they’ll continue to trust the rich to mind themselves instead of regulating them even though its exactly like handing them trillions of dollars to make a big bonfire just like they did in this great recession. That would be a Depression but for the stimulus. Most sane economists agree on that point.
Dec 15, 2010, 1:29 pm
I will not bother getting into it with you in regards to spelling or “allcaps” issues. I would ask that you try not to be so emotional that you feel you need to try to belittle and attempt to degrade any whose opinions differ from yours. As I stated before I believe ALL politicians are crooks, and my major difference of opinions with you lies with your obviously biased opinions and PRO liberal democrat attitude. Hopefully that makes it clear for you.
I assume from the viewpoint you express with your bitterness towards “federal aid in the ag, mining, ranching, military, nuclear, and other industries.” that YOU are in the educational field, possibly a college professor. More than likely High School teacher I would guess. Does your chosen profession receive any federal funds? Are you a union employee perhaps?
You Sisyphus choose to label me as a “troll” in your immature attempt to silence opinions that differ from your own, another liberal tactic that has been exposed over and over again. Another thing I am certain of is your craving of acceptance so you hope that by belittling others more characters such as “dog” will be your own little cheerleading squad. Maybe dog is your own creation, alter ego of sorts?
Rant away at this point Sisyphus, I will not take this any further than what I have stated
1)I made my points originally
2)you chose to insult and degrade an opinion differing from your own 3)I in turn responded
4)you escalated the attempts at belittling
5) I responded again…
That is enough I would think. besides this argument with you is beginning to remind me of an old saying
“never argue with an idiot they will only drag you down to their level and beat you with experience”
Dec 15, 2010, 4:23 pm
LOL, got a little tighty whitey righty going on? For a guy whose only point is that all politicians are crooks you sure can go on, can’t you? I have expressed no bitterness, but I will admit to some amusement, mostly for people deluded from seeing their own hypocrisy and who eagerly grind away opinions which can easily be observed on public restroom walls. Maybe that’s where you get your intimate knowledge of politicians. I’m a small business owner hoping beyond hope that America can see through label flinging rhetoric in order to come to grips with the problems facing us instead of categorizing everyone and everything into convenient little Fox News packages to demonize. Its a poor substitute for skepticism, critical thinking and rational thought.
You’re the one admitting to being booted out of the cess pool known as the Statesman comment section. That’s quite a feat. It would seem the “troll” shoe fits, then?
Dec 15, 2010, 8:57 pm
Well—-daily paper content was sure not lacking today, with the news that the SEC shut down AEHI nuker Don Gillispie’s stocks trading for 2 weeks: the documents say the 14th to the 28th. For info on what he’s been up to, and why the SEC thinks his biz invites investigation, see:
There is a long list of practices on this page that the SEC considers questionable.
EDITOR NOTE–Agreed, good story.
Jan 14, 2011, 10:17 am
When are we going to discuss the Statesman’s lack of reporting on classrooms chalk full of autistic kids, learning disabled kids, ADHD, fetal alcohol and crank kids, while promoting merit pay for those whose test scores out rank others. Remember, these kids are given the exact same test that the other kids are given, and on that basis, Luna wants to give merit pay. We need an immediate campaign to discourage anyone from entering teaching in the state of Idaho.