Good morning, Netizens...
Shannon Sullivan wrote:
“Dave, Shannon Sullivan here. I was just wondering why the blog has gotten away from the local issues? With the election coming up, where are we suppose to go for updates, comments?
I realize spin control has a lot, but I think that there needs to be a blog that focuses on what is going on here in our own community.
Originally I was simply going to answer this series of questions in its own original thread, mostly because it was Sunday and I generally try to avoid writing original material for the Blog on Sundays as that is a day I'd like to spend more time with my loved ones and family. Then as yesterday wove onward, I found I ran out of free time, as sometimes is the case on Sundays. Thus, at my first rising, at 4:00 AM today, Monday morning, I decided to dedicate an answer to your question in its own thread and perhaps explain a bit about the command-level decisions I often am forced to make.
Brief History: When I was asked to start this Blog over three years ago, although I had some thinly-sketched ideas of what I wanted to do with it, I didn't really begin to “flesh out” my ideas at first. I wrote what I felt like writing, both fiction and non-fiction, and when I felt motivated to comment on local issues, I did, from within my own perspective. Within some boundaries, I still write what I want, and although I sometimes spend less time on local issues than perhaps I might, one of my priorities, is that I always try to cover stories, regardless of their geographical or geopolitical content, that are not being covered by any other Blogs in the Spokesman.
Failures: Among some of the failures I take upon my own responsibility are that I have not dedicated enough of my limited resources to cover what I term the local news media, itself. Mediocrity in journalism, either in print or televised news media, is no defense for a lackluster outcome, and at times our local television news media are deplorable in how they sometimes handle the news and weather forecasts.
I also assume responsibility for having introduced members of the Spokane Police Department to this blog head-on. Nobody else invited them to explain their actions; of course no one else withstood the vitriol and mashing that resulted on both sides. I failed miserably at my goal of encouraging open, honest dialog, and for that I will be judged, but it was an honest failure. In the words of my personal ad hoc consigliere who frequents this piece of cyberspace, upon occasion, I need an editor.
Once upon a time, in a different piece of the Internet in Usenet News, I started what became known as “Gatherings” which members of the general public were invited to attend. We had breakfasts together at the former Pancake House on Francis Avenue, picnics in the parks, even. Perhaps we need to re-institute this historical piece of the past, something along the lines of Dave Oliveria's occasional Blogfest, which both Jeanie and I have attended. We still need to “put faces with the screen names” after all these years.
You state we have drifted away from the local issues. If so, it is because I simply run out of disposable time before I run out of things to say or topics to discuss before my “good day job” kicks in. You can always suggest ideas for things we can discuss, and if time permits, it will be added to the list. I encourage everyone to this: help make this Blog better at avoiding mediocrity.
I also hasten to point out that neither Jeanie nor I have ever received nor ask for a nickel of recompense for what we do, nor are we employees of the Spokesman-Review or the Cowles Publishing Company. We are simply two journalists who do the best we can to achieve balance in what we write and when we write it.