Wednesday, February 28, 2007

All Your Wrongs Will Be News-Pressed

Sure, it's hard to take seriously a Santa Barbara paper that:

1) Features as "Local" stories on its website that include:

Fla. football mom works to bring artificial turf to Alaska tundra
28 hurt, dozens of vehicles crash as more snow hits Colorado

plus other stories from San Francisco, Humboldt, and Nevada.

2) Features an editorial that begins, "Does Santa Barbara City Hall really care to hear from you, particularly if you disagree with the City Council and administration on whatever political hot potato is before them?" on a letters page that has never included a single voice despairing of what's happened to the paper for the past 8 months.

3) Promises to "detail in future editorials the abuses throughout the [county housing] program," as if the editorial page is the rightful home of investigative journalism. (Well, it is when you don't have any reporters and you hope to "investigate" via innuendo.)

That's just some of the latest fun in the past two days in the paper formerly known as the News-Press (I can't include the glyph the paper now uses, as it's too rude--a giant middle finger aimed at the community of Santa Barbara).

But the most striking thing could be this, on Tuesday Scott Steepleton wrote an article entitled: "BUS STATION: STOP OR GO? Options for transit center include moving it or creating housing, shops nearby." In that article, he said the following:

One option that doesn't seem to make sense is using the area near the Amtrak station, at 209 State St.

"While that location would enhance bus/rail connections, it would negatively impact local transit efficiency and cannot accommodate the number of bus bays needed to meet future needs," states the study's executive summary [ed. note: I will refrain from joking he only read the executive summary]. "The site is constrained by the freeway and railroad tracks, and many streets in the area are not designed to accommodate heavy bus travel."

And because the station is far from Santa Barbara's "governmental and business center," according to the document, riders would have to transfer to get there, making for longer travel times.

Note that first sentence isn't in quotes, isn't attributed to anyone--it's a free-floating claim.

Now today Travis Armstrong opines (or is that investigatively journalizes?) in an editorial entitled: "Our Opinion: Council gives up on commuter rail?" the following:

The most recent example of the City Council's lack of concern for the success of commuter rail came yesterday afternoon when the panel dismissed the Amtrak depot as a site for a "transit hub." This site off Highway 101 could be a location to link regional rail and bus services with city transit lines.

Getting hundreds or thousands of people to commute via rail will require offering quick shuttle service to their jobs once they get off the trains.

So, you have to wonder, now that he's contradicted the mighty, if seemingly ever-shrinking, editorial We edict, is Scott Steepleton the next writer to be thrown under the bus?



Blogger Kevin Price said...

The problem with your paper is the problem with newspapers in general. Recently I talked about this at To me, instead of being critical of blogs, like so many journalists are, I'm delighted that the media has another force to keep them accountable. Your post was right on.

8:22 PM  

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