Press "Enter" to skip to content

Posts published in “Day: January 6, 2015”

Not any more



Dear Friends,

Please don't, anymore, anyone, on FaceBook or in person, approach me with an article idea for the local newspaper.
I do not work for the Shoshone News-Press and never have. I can't help you. There is nothing I can do for you.

Whilst laying on a death-bed three years ago at Kootenai, I did propose to then-editor Dan Drewry that I might start penning a column about What Went Wrong. It would be an attempt to correct our vision.

Our shared thought was that there are three types of news, and all were wrong, and that you cannot average them. It was that old Einstein thing; you could plant your butt on a flaming-hot stove, and stick your feet into a bucket of ice. On average, you're comfortable. So much for averaging.

Seemed like a good idea, if you've sucked enough morphine and oxygen, to just try to get to the bottom of things. Our deal was, he kicked down a gallon of maple syrup every year from his family's farm, and I would write as I pleased. No editing (save for typos); take it or leave it. Dan, sumbitch that he can be, never broke that contract. (A newspaperman who can keep his word is one worthy of knowing.)

The Haw-haw news you get from KHQ or KXLY or KREM where everybody leaves the news desk giggling, even if a comet bigger than Jupiter just smacked one-fifth of the planet away and knocked it into Outer Space, film at 11. Ha-ha, great weather tomorrow, look at somebody saving this nice cow. Then at 5:30 is the corporate CBS/NC/ABC news, where Scott Pelly repeats what was on Drudge the day before, but with a pro-Obama White House spin.

Then comes 6 p.m. Let us review:

5 p.m. Local Ha-ha news. (That comet will be cute in the night skies. Tee-hee.)

5:30 Network corporate news. (This network is assured by the Administration that no Islamists were involved in this comet attack.)

6 p.m.: Government News (which is PBS). Gwen Ifill declares, “We are screwed.”

I'll take Gwen over every other hack in this business. And she works for the government news!

Meantime, and to wrap this up: I am not a contributor (for free or compensation) to the local newspaper. If you've got a personal problem, better buy an ad.

That is the new business model for newspapers, and it works. Every competitive newspaper I've ever fought for has failed. Salem, Seattle, Anchorage, Wallace, and a few others. There is honour in losing a good fight. Suck up to the advertisers, spin their thing, tell your staff that the price of Jet-A is just too much and he cannot afford to give you a Christmas turkey, and you might win a free boat. Not for this writer.

There are wounded Steelworkers, Iron Workers, hard-rock miners, loggers, beaten-up wives and state-hounded unemployed husbands, and the just-plain-screwed who need newspapers to give them a voice. Whence will their voices come?

On the front pages


Here’s what public affairs news made the front page of newspapers in the Northwest today, excluding local crime, features and sports stories. (Newspaper names contracted with location)

Goedde asked to help with school broadband issues (Boise Statesman)
Raybould takes over as resources chair (Boise Statesman, Lewiston Tribune)
Most of Idaho's statewides sworn in Monday (Boise Statesman)
Attempt to block dredging on lower Snake rejected (Lewiston Tribune)
Heavy storming in western Washington (Lewiston Tribune)
New Moscow council member sworn in (Moscow News)
Designer picked for Midway Park sports complex (Nampa Press Tribune)
Pine Ridge Mall loses three retail tenants (Pocatello Journal)
State proposes 3% pay raises for state workers (TF Times News)
TF power outage hits hospital (TF Times News)

City councils reschedule over UO national game (Eugene Register Guard)
New Klamath Co officials sworn in (KF Herald & News)
Klamath air quality in recent decline (KF Herald & News)
Mt Ashland ski area closes over lack of snow (Medford Tribune)
Army may want to keep chemical depot property (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Pilot Rock police chief resigns (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Fritz reejcts proposed Portland transportation fee (Portland Oregonian)
State might allow industrial hemp planting (Portland Oregonian)
Salem reviews health of its older white oaks (Salem Statesman Journal)

USS Nimitz arrives for 16-month stay (Bremerton Sun)
Historic ship Kalakala will be scrapped (Seattle Times, Tacoma News Tribune, Bremerton Sun, Port Angeles News)
Heavy rains in western Washington (Seattle Times, Tacoma News Tribune, Everett Herald, Olympian, Longview News)
Young Washington voters didn't vote (Longview News)
Council member Selby runs for Olympia mayor (Olympian)
Only modest tax revenue from pot so far (Port Angeles News)
New city immigration law leads to council protest (Spokane Spokesman)
Battle over running US 95 on Paradise Ridge (Spokane Spokesman)
Clark College student cite parking problems (Vancouver Columbian)