Reader KirkH wrote:

The problem is mainly advertising. I open the UT and see half of the paper devoted to real estate related ads. The reporting seems conscious of that fact. In the future the main degree of credibility that a news organization gains will depend on who is funding that organization. That’s why I read The Voice, though not anonymous the donations don’t seem to have affected the writing. Or maybe the lack of competition made the UT lazy and you guys only seem amazing in comparison 🙂

Kirk, I concur when you write about the high quality of Voice of San Diego.  At the risk of insulting other local news organizations, Voice is first rate indeed and from my observation is doing everything right.  I’ve been involved for many years with the San Diego Press Club and its Journalism Awards competition, and from the first time Voice entered it swept virtually every category it entered.    

Of note: voiceofsandiego.org follows all the best principles of quality journalism … and it’s not full of anonymous posts.  Opinion is clearly labeled as such so you don’t have to guess. 

As for media being advertising driven, sure it is. But there have always been alternatives, and the public has made it clear it’s not interested.  Ask any average group of 100 people who watch network TV news how many watched “The News Hour” on PBS last night.  It’s a surprise when five hands go up … and two of them are probably lying. I do this all the time and the results haven’t changed in years. 

People vote with their remote (or mouse). The media is perhaps the most democratic institution in the United States. We all get a say on what gets shown when we decide to watch (or read), or not. The minute the audience starts deserting commercial news for publicly supported news, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox and CNN will start looking exactly like their “successful” competition. Instead, the public wants flashy anchorpeople, car chases, celebrity gossip and McPaper (AKA USA Today).  And they’ve got ‘em. 

Just as with politicians, we all get the news we deserve.

— GAYLE LYNN FALKENTHAL

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