I can’t stress enough that there have been some positive changes in local news that is delivered weekly to your doorstep here in Los Alamitos.
This time last year many of us were still in a mild form of complaint as we struggled to get “news”. The choices were not all that great and many times Let’s Fix Los Al was the breaking location for news, not the position that a site seeking to bring the community together likes to be in.
Let’s Fix Los Al is NOT a news site, or that isn’t the intent of the site. We are a place where local people can gather to discuss our community and what we can do to focus on what is working well and what is not. Where we can lend our voice in support of things that do work, and where we can question things that just don’t seem right.
None of the front pagers here are journalists, nor do we play one on the Internet. We are commentators. And we want the community to use the comments section to join us in commenting on the success and failures in the community, as well as provide input to the readership and local politicians on possible ways to move the city and our community forward in a positive fashion. So, becoming a news source was never on of the overriding goals of this site, but lacking any other news sources we sort of stepped in to fill the gap.
So, what are our news choices here in Los Al?
We have the OC Register. There we have Roxana Kopelman who is NOT assigned to cover Los Alamitos, but does so anyway. Her main beat is Garden Grove and Westminster, but Roxana comes in and covers Los Al when she can, and we appreciate her covering us in her “free time”, which is more than the Register would give us if Roxana didn’t.
We have Patch. There we had Paige Austin who seems to have moved on to a bigger and better position with Patch and now have John Crandall who is (I believe) a stringer who covers us. John has been getting a heck of an education and seems to be getting better with every article he posts.
We have oc180news.com. The Barr’s from Rossmoor have been good friends to the community. But they have moved from an advertising model to a subscription model for access to their well researched and well written stories. This has reduced their presence as a quotable news source for us as we don’t like to do wholesale grabs of stories and reprint them, and we really can’t expect our readership to fork over $5.00 a month in a subscription fee (this in no way reflects our opinion of their news, it’s just not fair for us to supply a pointer to a story that our readership would have to pay to read).
We have oc-breeze.com. This is where Shelly Henderson went to (she created it) after she left her stint at the News-Enterprise. As has been explained here in the comments on other posts, the on-line and off-line versions of this “news” source are rather lacking in news value. The publication (both the on-line and print) has been found to be lacking in “news” and heavy on public relations. As such it is very hard to consider this publication in either of it’s forms more than an public relations and editorial content piece lacking any newsworthiness or journalistic value.
We have the News-Enterprise. Now, if you look at the history of posts and comments on this site you will see that there have been a number of us who have not been very kind to the Verdugo’s publication for the last few years. Brian Smith (disclaimer: I am friends with Brian on facebook) did an okay job, but avoided discussing the polarization of the community or even looking at it. Shelly Henderson took the publication to the bottom basement and made it almost unfit to be used to line birdcages. But over the last year, under the management of Lon Wahlberg and Ted Apodaca something interesting has been happening over there on Los Alamitos Blvd. The News-Enterprise has started to come back from being a bottom-of-the-barrel publication of legal notices to actually being a news publication and showing what journalistic integrity can mean to a news publication.
Now it only took 720+ words to get to the point of this post.
Letsfixlosal.com is proud to embrace the NEW News-Enterprise as the cities leading news organization. Focused primarily on the second smallest city in Orange County it’s not afraid to wade into the fray with factual reporting no mater who it may hurt. I don’t suspect it will be “nice” to one side or the other, but there are a number of glimpses into it’s future, and that is one of being a fair reporter of the news. Journalistic integrity is back, and back with a vengeance.
What I’m going to now quote here is some of what the Associate Publisher had to say in the New Years edition of the News-Enterprise. I will of course offer my own commentary, but here is what Lon Whalberg had to say.
For us in 2013, the News Enterprise resolves to hold the Los Alamitos city council more accountable for their actions, or should I say lack of action? After twelve months of witnessing and reporting the blatant partisanship and obstructive character that was this past year’s council, it got old real quick and most residents of Los Al soon realized nothing of any significance was being accomplished because of the constant bickering and obstinate nature of five people.
Now there is nothing in this paragraph that is news, it’s an opinion piece after all, but it is something that has not been stated this clearly in any other news publication. But more than just stating what has been seen, the opening statement is that he paper of record is not going to ignore these things, but is going to report it. Because how things happen is as much a part of the story as what happens. Because how things play out is as newsworthy as what the result is.
As the city’s only news reporting agency, the News Enterprise will stand beside that ideal, resolving to hold our elected officials accountable and do exactly what we elected them to do, govern effectively, not bicker.
And as a consumer of news I find this attitude of journalistic integrity from the only news organization in our city to provide every citizen with a weekly recap on their doorstep a refreshing change from what we have had ever since Mr. Pat Cavanaugh sold the publication to the Verdugo brothers. I really suggest that anyone who is interested in reading Lon’s excellent piece click on this link http://newsenterprise.net/article/too-great-expectations20130102
Now, at this point Dave Emerson would ask you to say what you have found newsworthy in the comments. So I will do no less. Tell us what is making news in this New Year for you. In the meantime, I can’t recommend enough that people visit the News-Enterprise website, and also that they take the time to pick up the paper when it shows up at the end of their driveway. It’s newsworthy, has good journalistic content, and is well worth the read these days. Lon and Ted, keep up the good work, we will be watching and reading.
[as Dave always says, let's keep the comments family friendly.]