Thursday, March 31, 2005

Local Newspapers

The local newspaper here in Ridgecrest calls itself The Daily Independent. I have been a subscriber to the print version of this paper for almost 20 years now and I can tell you for sure that the newspaper has no clue about the meaning of the word - daily. Our "daily" paper is delivered to the house on tuesday through Friday and on Sunday. Well I don't know what calendar they have down there at the newspaper office the but one on my wall has seven days in each week. They used to deliver Monday through Friday. When they added the Sunday paper, they dropped Monday's. But that makes perfect sense. Everyone knows that nothing ever happens between Sunday morning and Tuesday evening.

The paper recently hired a new managing editor. She has to be an improvement over the previous one. The old editor was a big supporter of our local Charter School. He did his best to promote the Charter School by running down the private schools in town. I guess he figured that since the parents of children in the private schools didn't want our children in the public schools we would look to the Charter School if he made the private schools look bad enough.

The new editor mostly has increased the font size of the print. Added more white space around the pictures and articles. The number of pages of each paper hasn't really increased. So the amount of content has decreased.

I will probably never link to articles in the paper. After a few days they are moved to a subscription site. Since I pay for paper version I don't feel like paying for the electronic version.

All nonlocal news is just Associated Press reprints. There is some local news. The new editor has done a better job about covering local sports. She has also been fairer about coverage of all the different school's events.

The most amusing part of the paper is the letters to the editor. Lately they have taken to publishing a lot of letters from people who don't live in Ridgecrest. Several haven't even been Californians or even from the US.

Many people use the Letters to the Editor as thier personal soapbox to try and convince everyone else in town to come over to their way thinking on things like abortion, politics, religion. I will never write a letter to the editor like that because I can do my pontificating here. It does have the drawback that my words aren't delivered directly to everyones doorstep. But at least no one will throw their back out bending over to pick my blog up out of the bushes in thier front yard.

The two other papers in town are The Swap Sheet - a free classified advertisement paper that used to be printed on green paper, hense it's nickname - The Green Sheet. A few years ago they changed over to white newsprint, but kept the green cover sheet because that was the name most everyone knew the paper by.

Then there is The News Review. A weekly paper that is delivered to every house in town. They ask for a $2.00 monthly donation, but still deliver the paper even if you don't pay. The News Review is strickly local news. When my father comes to visit it is the only paper he reads.

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