Letter to the Editor of the North Coast Journal (Arcata, California)
(Written October 8, 2006, and published shortly thereafter)
Thanks for all the coverage you provide about our two competing daily papers. Yet there are so many questions that no one seems to ask regarding the Times-Standard and its main competitor. Here are a few I would LOVE to hear some thoughtful answers to:
* Why do the citizens of the Humboldt Bay area allow two large corporations - both owned by unaccountable powerful men with their own political agendas - to own our only daily newspapers?
* Why don't we residents at least have the collective clarity of voice to tell MediaNews Group's private absentee owner Dean Singleton, that if he wants to continue to maintain the privilege (not the right) of owning the 152 year old Times-Standard, that he better start providing it with the full funding it requires to do the job it's supposed to be doing: keeping all of us well informed so that we can fulfill our duty as citizens in this democratic republic. Paying his reporters for the time they need to fully investigate and develop their stories would be a good place to start.
* In our own minds and souls, have each of us drifted so far away from seeing ourselves as citizens (with rights to decide how our mass media is organized), and plunged so deeply into being merely consumers of news and entertainment, that we can no longer imagine such a newspaper?
Getting these questions answered would be a great start towards getting our democracy back!