Undercurrents: The Bay Area’s Lack of Local Day-to-Day Media Reporting. Category: Columns from The Berkeley Daily Planet - Thursday June 19, 2008: “By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday June 19, 2008
One of the great ironies of these times—something historians in our grandchildren’s time will probably better be able to understand and explain—is that we are experiencing an explosion of information and internet discussion concerning local events while simultaneously seeing a drying up of direct news media reporting on those events.
The Berkeley Daily Planet, bless our hearts, has two reporters covering Berkeley city government, and another to cover the Berkeley Unified School District and the various dealings of the Berkeley School Board. But that is a rarity. Across the border in Oakland, no media outlet—aside from the East Bay News Service’s Sanjiv Handa—regularly covers Oakland City Council or Oakland city government, no media outlet at all regularly covers the Oakland Unified School District, or the Peralta Community College District, or the Alameda-Contra Contra Costa Transit District, and so on, and so on. Reporters are sent out to these entities only when there is the chance that news is being made. Unfortunately, that gives both a skewed view of the activities of local governmental bodies as well as causes media misinterpretations as reporters and editors—on the fly—try to catch up with the impact and meaning of actions and events, without the context that comes from regular observation.
--- I could not have written that better myself. Oakland has a huge news problem but there's a void that can be filled here.
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