What's this blog really about?

You may notice a variety of topics here - from business, to charity promotion, even to local news, but the primary reason this blog was created was to alert readers to the hostile atmosphere and sexual harassment at The Danville Register & Bee. The readers and creator of this blog want a FULL FRONT PAGE apology in the Danville Register & Bee, plus the disciplining of those individuals involved. Until then, we'll continue to post regular updates. To tolerate THIS kind of behavior by a major media network is intolerable. And this isn't just ONE instance. Media General has been sued nationwide for racism and sexism, yet they CONTINUE to keep the offenders employed. Why? And why am I doing this? TRUTH compels me.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The story teller - who's telling your story?

It's a job. For some of us it's a profession, but for most - it's a job. Journalist. Reporter. Photographer. In Shakespeare's day and before - or after we were the minstrels, the story tellers, the court jesters. We traveled from town to town with stories and news.

While the titles, clothes and names have changed, journalists are - in their essence - storytellers. People have always gotten their news one way or another. Hearing history or news told in story fashion has always been a way story tellers made a living. The better the story - the better the pay. That much hasn't changed. But the fact is - journalists are simply those who journal - or write the news. It's been said the Victors write history - and that's true for journalists too. What they determine is newsworthy is what hits the newspaper. It may not be all the news or the best news. It's what ONE person - the managing editor - decides is newsworthy. So who should that person be then? Someone in touch with his/her community? Someone well-known, respected, admired? Remember - no matter who is at the helm of the news-ship in your town - THEY, more than any other - are writing the history of your city. Because in five, ten or twenty years when people look back - chances are there isn't much on the internet or in print about your town.

Were there parades? Ceremonies? Plaques erected? What was "important" during that period of time? Looking back at Danville's history what will people see? Mostly that there was a heck of a lot of crime, and traffic accidents. If you had to rely on The Danville Register & Bee to tell future generations about what was important to Danville - what will it say? In your own town - what does your newspaper considered newsworthy?

Is it politics? Utility prices, people, business - the growth of agriculture? The loss of jobs? It's not just your daily paper - it's a barometer of your community. What is important? Who is important?

Is your paper relying on photos of accident scenes, fires and arrests because it's important or because it sells papers? I'll clue you in - it's because it sells papers. You're selling the future and character of Danville down the river not because there's an editor who has a grasp of where his community is headed - but because a number cruncher says more people read stories online about death, fires and accidents. Is that leadership?

A newspaper should have a vision and a voice. The Register and Bee doesn't.
Does your newspaper? Is it a place you can turn to for help, for insight, for access to information that companies and businesses won't release? No. Today's newspapers are simply ad machines and the people who work there and run them are concerned not with community, history or story but with selling ads and making money.

Is there any wonder why newspapers are failing and bloggers are booming?

If not for this blog and these stories - true stories - would you have even known? No - because just as history shows the victors write history - newspapers, if you let them, will tell YOU what is important - not vice versa. Dare to be remembered. Blog.

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