Posts Tagged ‘The Newark Advocate’

Non News News

June 1, 2018

The end of May saw news affecting the residents of The Newark Advocate’s coverage area. And news not included in this area. The Advocate chose the latter, not bothering with the former at all. Has The Newark Advocate branched out into the business of cultivating mushrooms? The online 6-1-18 Advocate runs a story on “9 new stores to check out at Easton Town Center.” Old timers will recall that at the time of Easton Town Center’s opening, most area business proprietors predicted the decline of the local crown jewel for shopping in Newark/Heath/Granville – Indian Mound Mall. The reader can judge the outcome over the years. The Newark Advocate’s customers are its advertisers. A story on something outside the “news” source’s present coverage area makes excellent business sense. By expanding its coverage area, it can grow its potential customer base. Within the “heirloom” coverage of The Advocate, the Zanesville half marathon received reporting space. Not covered, though encompassing all of The Advocate’s coverage area, was the news that Melanie Leneghan has requested a recount of the May GOP primary results where Troy Balderson (from Zanesville) squeaked out a win by just more than 600 votes (for Pat Tiberi’s 12th congressional seat). The Advocate is quickly becoming like syndicated radio stations pre-programmed to give ostensibly “local news” (the local sports coverage or a local resident’s obituary) while grinding out infomercials 24/7 – all the non news news that’s fit to report (digitally or otherwise).

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Subtle Creep

May 2, 2018

In these recent years one often encounters articles and essays suggesting that democracy is on the decline. Could democracy have reached its end? With the various “revolutions” (velvet, orange, etc.) as well as the various “springs” (the Arab spring, etc.), great promise was forecast on behalf of democracy around the world. That all changed with the recent elections, in America and elsewhere. Head scratchers have attributed this to divisive power structures, social media, global technologies, etc. ‘Nuff said. Democracy is suspected of being under siege or threat locally as well as globally. Ever since the collapse of the Berlin Wall in the late 80’s, begrudging accolades have been festooned on the triumph of, not democracy, but capitalism. It has literally become the only game in town. Formally communist or socialist regimes have divested themselves of strict adherence to ideology and become, well, capitalist. Few holdouts remain in the world. “Communist” China is actually a state capitalism. Karl Marx (remember him?) couched much of his prognostication within the logic of dialectic. The online dictionary gives one definition as “inquiry into metaphysical contradictions and their solutions. • the existence or action of opposing social forces, concepts, etc.” It informs this with several examples, one of which is “Hegel applied the term to the process of thought by which apparent contradictions (which he termed thesis and antithesis) are seen to be part of a higher truth (synthesis).” Marx was much taken with Hegel and formulated most of his thought along Hegel’s dialectic. Put crassly, Marx’s dialectic follows the simplistic interpretation that as one aspect increases or grows, another diminishes and dies. This happens at one and the same time. Few who bemoan the demise of democracy, as well as those celebrating the success of capitalism, link the two. After all, western European democracy (which includes the U S) was established by avowed capitalists to function as democracy. So one would think the two would thrive together and be mutually compatible. Wrong. As capitalism succeeds world wide, democracy disappears. The antithesis of capitalism is not communism, but democracy. Case in point would be the recent courthouse lighting for the first Pride event in downtown Newark, Ohio. The back story is that 3 GOP commissioners, Duane Flowers, Rick Black, and forever commissioner Tim Bubb, formulated a strict ideological courthouse lighting policy after receiving a written petition to light the courthouse in rainbow colors for the first Pride event. The policy stipulates 19 colorations with no exception except if the commissioners decide to make exception (outside input excepted). Tim Bubb’s newly renovated courthouse, which includes fully computerized lighting, is now an issue of contention within the county seat. Analysis calls the reader’s attention to the 4-29-18 Newark Advocate Our View, submitted by the “editorial board” (they all sat together in one room and collaborated on the essay? Who wrote it? The reader is to believe that this is “the view” of the corporate entity): “But more importantly, the policy adopted is wrong for the community. The county should have an inclusive policy that allows outside civic organizations and events to petition for the courthouse to be lit in their colors. Such petitions should require those groups to cover the entire cost of programming and operating the lights, whether that’s $100, $1,000 or more.” This resembles a “reasonable” resolution until one does the math – the computerized lighting is already installed and paid for, there are 365 days in the year (not 19), and any teenager who has a smart phone where their hand ought to be could program the lights in less than half an hour. The Advocate’s resolution of this contentious issue embraces the SCOTUS Citizens United ruling whereby corporations are deemed “persons” and money is speech. What else would one expect from Our View’s corporate speak? No, it is a dialectical matter. As the purchase of elected officials and policies becomes more “natural” (capitalism) so the self-governance of the actual living inhabitants by the actual living inhabitants diminishes and dies (democracy).

Absentee Landlord-Type Situation

April 12, 2018

4-11-18 Robert Channick, writing for the Chicago Tribune headlined Chicago Tribune Newsroom Seeking To Unionize. Analysis found this intriguing to consider that in this day and age, this country, workers would attempt to unionize; cultural workers at that. Why not, you ask? Of note from the report (which according to the current “conversation” would be heavily biased since it is being presented by one of those very same cultural workers. Including the self in the “conversation”, what a novelty!): “Organizers notified editors and sent a recruitment memo to staffers Wednesday, urging them to join the effort to form the paper’s first newsroom union. The stated goals include regular raises, advancement opportunities, better parental leave policies and a more diverse newsroom. But more than specific demands, the organizers say they seek to give voice to a newsroom buffeted by downsizing and shifting corporate leadership, most recently under Chicago-based Tronc.” “Formerly known as Tribune Publishing, Tronc owns the Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News, Los Angeles Times and other publications.” “”There’s been a real sense of anxiety and instability, and frankly chaos, in the newsroom, particularly in the past few months,” said Megan Crepeau, 29, a criminal courts reporter and eight-year veteran of the Chicago Tribune who helped organize the union effort. “I think that directly stems from our corporate ownership.”” “Last month, the Chicago Tribune began implementation of a newsroom reorganization that included layoffs.” Analysis needs to note that just recently Sinclair Broadcast Group reappeared in the news with its intentions to buyout Tribune Media, all of which received the Dear Leader’s tweeted blessing. Analysis fills in the back story from Wiki: “Prior to the August 2014 spin-off of the company’s publishing division into Tribune Publishing (now called Tronc, Inc.), Tribune Media was the nation’s second-largest newspaper publisher (behind the Gannett Company), with ten daily newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Orlando Sentinel, Sun-Sentinel and The Baltimore Sun, and several commuter tabloids.” The Advocate is a Gannett product (or process, whatever). Butt weight, there’s more. From the transcript of the PBS 4-9-18 Newshour entitled ‘We have got an absentee landlord’: Denver Post calls out owners for dramatic newsroom cuts. “In a blistering editorial, journalists at the Denver Post sounded the alarm about years of devastating job cuts and took the newspaper’s own hedge fund owners to task, begging to be sold. Amna Nawaz speaks to Chuck Plunkett, editorial page editor of the Denver Post, who co-wrote the editorial.” “The front-page editorial came after years of devastating cuts ordered by Alden Global Capital, a New York City hedge fund that stepped in to buy the paper in 2010. In it, the editorial page editors referred to Alden as vulture capitalists and wrote, “Denver deserves a newspaper owner who supports its newsroom. If Alden isn’t willing to do good journalism here, it should sell The Post to owners who will.” Just today, two dozen more staffers left The Post, the latest in a series of layoffs that have taken the 125-year-old paper from a newsroom of 250 journalists to fewer than 100.”[Plunkett projected it to hit 60] Mr. Plunkett: “Newspapers have a proud tradition of calling out the powerful, being the voice for the voiceless. And we even have a tradition that we run letters to the editor and op-eds written by outsiders who are critical of our work. On the editorial page, we are critical of government and private businesses who we don’t feel are living up to the job that they are supposed to perform. And in this situation, we believe that our owners are failing their readers, not just in Denver, Colorado, but in their many holdings across the United States, and that it was only proper to call them out and ask for better.” “We lost our publisher earlier this year. He has not been replaced with someone who spends time day in and day out in the Denver community. And that’s the problem that I’m beginning to see, is that we have got an absentee landlord-type situation.” The Denver metro area has a population of over 3 million. Sounds a bit like Columbus where the Dispatch’s landlord, Gatehouse Media, was likewise in the news with its purchase of the Akron Beacon Journal. Gatehouse Media is a holding company. Wiki gives “A holding company is a company that owns other companies’ outstanding stock. A holding company usually does not produce goods or services itself; rather, its purpose is to own shares of other companies to form a corporate group. Holding companies allow the reduction of risk for the owners and can allow the ownership and control of a number of different companies.” It is akin to a hedge fund. Talk about hedging, Mark Zuckerberg was also in the news this past week. Continuously he stressed that Facebook is only a platform for advertising and this is their main source of revenue. This puts him, and it, in company with Sinclair, Gannett, Alden, Tronc and Gatehouse. His digital “product” (actually a process) is unique in that it is a monopoly of choice, where the absentee landlord is totally absent! By choice, because during the late 90’s the slogan was “the internet can be whatever it is you want it to be”. But Analysis digresses. The facts on the ground are that Gannett discontinued the Advocate’s paper printing operation (and contracted outside Newark for that), has its downtown building up for sale (would have been a great county 911 center), and has no office to speak of – to pay bills, report community events or news, submit advertising, etc. requires accessing someone virtually (in another city?). The Advocate’s customer is the advertiser which it serves not only through traditional ads but also product placement stories, features, infotainment, op eds and even news. In a municipality where almost half the residential properties are non-owner occupant “that’s the problem that I’m beginning to see, is that we have got an absentee landlord-type situation.”

 

Fundraisers

June 5, 2017

Mention the name Kirkersville today around central Ohio and the response is similar to the mention of other names in other parts of the country, like Waco, Orlando, or Virginia Tech. For readers unfamiliar with Kirkersville, an individual with a history of violence related offenses (and incarceration) shot and killed two unrelated women co workers of a nursing home as well as the village police chief. The shooter was likewise shot and killed in the calamity. A search of  the perpetrator’s home in Utica turned up a veritable arsenal of firearms and ammunition. The tragedy that unfolded in Kirkersville has been reported, updated, re-reported and analyzed, all in hopes that “it will never happen again.” Laws are being “introduced” to facilitate this. This past weekend, in addition to more post-event investigative reporting, the Newark Advocate dedicated another Sunday editorial to Kirkersville. Newark News Analysis dares to call attention to a regular daily Advocate feature from June 2, 2017 (prior to the editorial but after the tragedy in Kirkersville). The Local News Briefs calls attention to local events, announcements, news items that are published in the public interest. The following appeared on the same day, sharing the same column space, separated only by two sundry announcements (a street closing and a summer reading series):

Chipotle having Kirkersville shooting fundraiser

NEWARK – A benefit day for the families of the three victims of the Kirkersville nursing home shooting will be Tuedsay, June 6, at the Chipotle Restaurants in Heath, Newark, Reynoldsburg and Blacklick.

Customers who tell the cashier they are supporting the fundraiser will have 50 percent of their purchase divided between the families of Eric DiSario, Marlina Medrano and Cindy Krantz.

Gun raffle supports Utica K-9 Unit

UTICA – A gun raffle and fundraiser to support the Utica Police Department K-9 Unit will have a drawing at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Utica Fire Department.

First prize is a SAI Saint Tactical AR-15, second prize is a RFM-870 Combo, third prize is a Ruger American 9mm and fourth prize is a Glock 26 CGW. Other door prizes will also be given.

Tickets are $10 and are available at the police department and Utica Mill and Hardware Store.

 

Newark News Analysis finds the Newark Advocate’s de facto editorial stance to be no stance at all. Cosmetic tweaks are demanded while the status quo remains unchallenged. Who does the Advocate advocate for?