The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

What Others Say, How They Say It...

Rocking the Boat

 


The responsibility of the journalist is to keep the public informed about what the public might be interested in being informed about and to do it in an interesting and concise form as possible. Journalists are expected to report on the weather, sports, government, corporations, individuals, animals, and whatever else might be of interest to the readers or viewers. There are so many stories that a “nose for news” is the one of the primary requisites of a journalist. There’s also the assumed responsibility of telling the readers and viewers what we think about and what our opinions are. Editorials are an important part of any paper just as expressing other points of view are important on television and radio. What we like to do is to try and keep abreast of what is happening — editorially — around Alaska. Here’s our rundown.

From Alaska’s oldest newspaper, The Nome Nugget, in the last edition, told its readers that “oil does not deserve top billing for our future. The education of our children should always rank at the top of our state’s budget.” The Nugget goes on to say, “We need to use tax money we get from our non-renewable resources, like gas and oil to fund our schools. It is not smart to give store when we don’t raise the tax on oil as the price of oil goes up. Oil companies have done nothing to deserve such a giveaway. Our pocketbooks feel the pinch. When the price of bread goes up Nomeites know that the tax on that bread goes up.”

Down in southeast, Ketchikan Daily News cheers on the young — and others. In an editorial titled “Great Kids,” the Daily News comments on high school activities. “What a great weekend for good news. Kayhi girls basketball beat Juneau-Douglas in Juneau. Kayhi wrestling bested both Juneau and Thunder Mountain; homegrown Stephanie (Patton) Rebecca released her new jazz CD here (instead of a jazz club in D.C.; where the release had been scheduled to take place); lots of people got in the Resolution Revolution event at The Place Friday night.”

And from the interior comes an editorial commenting on local government. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner wants more transparency in the borough deliberations. “How many times have we heard during a contentious negotiation process, rumors of the outrageous opening positions from one side or another? And from whom do we hear these rumors? From the very people inside the “caucus process.” Their seats inside the process usually do little to reduce their outrage at the other side’s offers. In fact, it seem to us here on the outside that those inside the process most often are the ones that get the most worked up about it all.” The editorial goes on to say, “If negotiations were open, it seems more likely that all this outrage might be moderated. Negotiators might show up with more realistic offers from the start. All parties would feel more compelled to present proposals that pass the laugh test in public. That would be a helpful impulse.

So, there you have it, three editorials from three long-established institutions that praise the accomplishments of the residents of the old hometown, fight to lift the tax burden on local taxpayers, and argue for more transparency in the local government. Sounds familiar, right? Of course it does. The issues raised by local papers around the country reflect the concerns and thoughts of local people and they range from the young to the old, raising and cutting taxes, and fighting for voices to be heard and respected in local governing bodies.

Local newspapers fight for the old home town. As one seasoned editor/publisher said, “If the local paper doesn’t fight for the home town, don’t expect others to do your fight. Your job is to stand tall, bear the burden and accept the responsibility of being the only voice that doesn’t falter.” That’s good advice.

 

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