On yesterday’s show, we talked about a report in the local newspaper that refuses to use proper names for other media outlets that indicated that the Mayor’s office was looking at some alternative ways to disseminating information to the masses. Among the options to effectuate such a goal were restructuring the PR department, redesigning the website, and using public access cable channel 10. OK, not exactly stop-in-your-tracks news. But then we got to the part of the article where it says the city wants to use it’s own website to communicate news and “rely less upon traditional media”.
At first blush, at least to me, that sounded like a precursor some sort of Government-controlled media scheme straight out of Red China. Now, as it turns out, after we spoke with Dianne Gonzolas from the Mayor’s office, it seems as though the plan is still to disseminate all of the regular information to the media, but with a realization that because of “shrinking news departments”, not all of it will be covered, and that’s where the website and other city-outlets come in. Perhaps the report could have been worded a little more clearly.
OK, well, that sounds more reasonable. And, perhaps some of the lack of coverage from media outlets of city press conferences or events is due to shrinking staffs, busy news days, etc., but I can tell that our newsroom sometimes doesn’t cover these conferences simply because we do not deem them newsworthy. Further, it I don’t work in the newsroom but I understand that news reporters are generally not allowed to ask questions about subjects outside of the focus of any given Mayoral Press Conference. Not only is that something that is apparently unprecedented, but something that likely dissuades all media from covering these press conferences when they aren’t exactly ‘front page news’.
In any case, we thought we’d have some fun with the idea of a city-run media outlet (yes, we freely admit this isn’t really happening), so here’s the Not Ready for Drive-Time Players look at what the city-run Public Access nightly TV news might sound like.