By DAVE FRAZIER, editor
When I started the GUARDIAN almost 15 years ago it filled a void in local news coverage aimed at serving as…well, the GUARDIAN for folks suffering from the revolving door for reporters at the TV stations and the decline of what we called “The Daily Paper.”
The internet provided a version of a printing press and broadcast transmitter that allowed us to fill the void in local media coverage. The Statesman doesn’t even own a printing press!
For a while the legacy media picked up GUARDIAN stories or did their own reporting on the same subject. Eventually they saw the GUARDIAN as competition, launched improved websites, and joined forces to provide more online news coverage. Even the media outlets have consolidated to the point we hardly know who works where.
Enter Don Day and his BOISEDEV site. Day has established himself as a credible news source and breaks stories almost daily which are ignored or missed by the legacy reporters.
One of his latest stories details the influence of Boise Mayor DAVE BIETER. The accompanying chart details the Bieter control and influence over almost every aspect of local government.
This type of exhaustive reporting takes time and effort. I must confess that I don’t have the energy or motivation to do the work Day has strapped on.
The newest group of local reporters are talented, but for the most part they are hindered by youth and inexperience. I recently chatted with a young legacy outlet reporter and learned that I covered Idaho stories before even her mother was born!
A major change over the past half century has been the almost total control of the news by government “spokespersons.” I would argue that MOST of today’s local news comes from government “reporters.” Their media releases are often not even rewritten. There are probably more information specialists at government agencies than working for all the legacy news outlets.
While I will still post stories on the GUARDIAN, it has become less taxing to offer “assigned reading” links and contribute more than 50 years of “institutional memory” to the local news scene.
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