"Community journalism is the lifeblood of democracy"
By Stephen Fox
Diane McFarlin, the dean of the journalism school at the University of Florida, told me this week, “this is very much at risk these days.” Academic studies have found a raft of problems to be associated with a decline of local journalism, as The Columbia Journalism Review has detailed. The problems include less informed voters, lower voter turnout and higher borrowing costs for local governments — because, without anyone ...
Diane McFarlin, the dean of the journalism school at the University of Florida, told me this week, “this is very much at risk these days.”
Academic studies have found a raft of problems to be associated with a decline of local journalism, as The Columbia Journalism Review has detailed. The problems include less informed voters, lower voter turnout and higher borrowing costs for local governments — because, without anyone to hold them accountable, those governments become less responsible.
Much of it involves what David Kurpius, the University of Missouri’s journalism dean, calls “the watchdog function.” Kurpius told me: “Local journalism helps describe the fabric of a community that gives a sense of place. In some ways, it is how we know our neighbors and fellow citizens.”
Early in the 2016 Primary campaign, I started a Facebook group: Bernie Sanders: Advice and Strategies to Help Him Win! As the primary season advanced, we shifted the focus to advancing Bernie's legislation in the Senate, particularly the most critical one, to protect Oak Flat, sacred to the San Carlos Apaches, in the Tonto National Forest, from John McCain's efforts to privatize this national forest and turn it over to Rio Tinto Mining, an Australian mining company whose record by comparison makes Monsanto look like altar boys, to be developed as North America's largest copper mine. This is monstrous and despicable, and yet only Bernie's Save Oak Flat Act (S2242) stands in the way of this diabolical plan.
We added "2020" to the title.
I am an art gallery owner in Santa Fe since 1980 selling Native American painting and NM landscapes, specializing in modern Native Ledger Art.
I have always been intensely involved in politics, going back to the mid's 1970's, being a volunteer lobbyist in the US Senate for the Secretary General of the United Nations, then a "snowball-in-hell" campaign for US Senate in NM in the late 70's, and for the past 20 years have worked extensively to pressure the FDA to rescind its approval for aspartame, the neurotoxic artificial sweetener metabolized as formaldehyde. This may be becoming a reality to an extent in California, which, under Proposition 65, is considering requiring a mandatory Carcinogen label on all aspartame products, although all bureaucracies seem to stall under any kind of corporate pressure.
Bills to ban aspartame were in the State Senates of New Mexico and Hawaii, but were shut down by corporate lobbyists (particularly Monsanto lobbyists in Hawaii and Coca Cola lobbyists in New Mexico).
For several years, I was the editor of New Mexico Sun News, and my letters to the editor and op/eds in 2016 have appeared in NM, California, Wisconsin, New York, Maryland, the Christian Science Monitor, USA Today, and many international papers, on the subject of consumer protection. Our best issue was 10 days before Obama won in 2008, when we published a special early edition of the paper declaring that Obama Wins! This was the top story on CNN for many hours, way back then....
My highest accomplishments thus far are
1. a plan to create a UN Secretary General's Pandemic Board of Inquiry, a plan that is in the works and might be achieved even before the 75th UN General Assembly in September 2020.
2. Now history until the needs becomes clear to the powers who run the United Nations: a UN Resolution to create a new Undersecretary General for Nutrition and Consumer Protection, strongly supported ten years ago by India and 53 cosponsoring nations, but shut down by the US Mission to the UN in 2008. To read it, google UNITED NATIONS UNDERSECRETARY GENERAL FOR NUTRITION, please.
These are not easy battles, any of them, and they require a great deal of political and journalistic focus. OpEdNews is the perfect place for those who have a lot to say, so much that they exceed the limiting capacities of their local and regional newspapers. Trying to go beyond the regional papers seems to require some kind of "inside" credentials, as if you had to be in a club of corporate-accepted writers, and if not, you are "from somewhere else," a sad state of corporate induced xenophobia that should have no place in America in 2020!
This should be a goal for every author with something current to say: breaking through yet another glass ceiling, and get your say said in editorial pages all over America. Certainly, this was a tool that was essentially ignored in 2016, and cannot be ignored in the big elections of 2020.
In my capacity as Editor of the Santa Fe Sun News, Fox interviewed Mikhail Gorbachev: http://www.prlog.org/10064349-mikhail-gorbachev