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February 12, 2009 at 12:23 am #589766
Now I understand the survey call a few weeks ago.
The West Seattle Herald Editorial Page appears to be an all-out attack on the BLOG. Too bad you’re not professional! Not to mention contributors are biased and unreliable. Why would anyone pay attention to neighbors in almost real time when they could wait a week to find out what’s happening on their block? The WSB rocks.February 12, 2009 at 12:24 am #657876
I participated in a telephone survey about a year ago and I raved about the blog then. I don’t think they knew much about your blog then but obviously they do now.February 12, 2009 at 12:33 am #657877
If it weren’t for the WSB, I would have NO idea what’s happening here, since the “mainstream media” has for so long denied our existence. No matter how contentious things get on the forums, bottom line is West Seattle Blog is an invaluable source of LOCAL news that matters to us all, and has connected the community in so many ways. Can’t say that about the Herald or that other West Seattle page that you can’t ever find any info on. YAY WSB!!February 12, 2009 at 12:34 am #657878
So I went to the WS Herald site and read the editorial.
The overall tone is quite defensive. And if everything is so ducky for them why are they redesigning their site for more updates and “greater interaction”?
And it seems they want it both ways when they on one hand diss the online ads that are tiny and “often ignored” yet I notice they have ads in a similar format to WSB.February 12, 2009 at 12:38 am #657879
Man, that was really a bitchy piece. Here is the link to the bitch-fest…er, I mean EDITORIAL if anyone is interested.
I hear a helicopter overhead right now. Guess I will wait until NEXT WEEK to have the Herald tell me what it was all about….sigh.February 12, 2009 at 1:01 am #657880
Ha-ha-ha. If they put as much energy into the actual timely reporting of news as they did in writing desperate editorials about why the WSB is irrelevant they might not be the laughing stock also-ran that they are.February 12, 2009 at 1:13 am #657881
Wow, nice sour grapes, Herald. I do think that WSB would be one of the first to say there is room for everyone, but the Herald just slipped down a notch for me. Tacky editorial.
Right down to discounting a photo taken on a cell phone by someone who happens to be there…yeah, I’d rather miss the shot altogether while waiting for a “professional” camera to show up. Or if one DOES appear, wait a week for the paper to come out. Way to have your finger on the pulse WSH!February 12, 2009 at 1:16 am #657882
The few times that I have picked up a Herald recently, I flip through and see a bunch of stuff that I already read – in the WSB! Plus, I’ve gotten more indepth reporting and comments from people who know the subject. I’ve been able to ask questions or debate a point, not just read a couple of paragraphs. When I hear a helicopter or a bunch of police, the first place I check is here. WSB is the best!!February 12, 2009 at 1:28 am #657883
Thanks for the pointer — I stopped reading the Herald long ago (even though they keep leaving it on our porch) — so I would have missed this altogether. It’s absolutely ridiculous and, worse, pathetic. Since they asked for comments, I’ll be sure they get some :-)February 12, 2009 at 1:33 am #657884
Wow. You’d think the Herald would see WSB as a challenge they should rise to meet. Instead, they stoop to an embarrassing low.
Even for an editorial, it’s full of inaccuracies and ludicrous statements, among them that WSB is not written by a professional journalist. Five seconds of research is all it would take to disprove that insulting accusation.
Another accusation that caught my eye: “Online advertising is often simply ignored, especially small square ads with annoying animation or no useful value-driven offer.” And what’s jutting into the text of this editorial, almost exactly where this statement appears? A small, square, online ad with no useful value-driven offer!
I’m a voracious reader of WSB, but I still pick up the Herald for their take on things. Not any more.February 12, 2009 at 1:41 am #657885
In all fairness, the WSH editorial does not mention WSB by name. Of course we assume that’s what it’s about, but they did not actually mention them by name.
I started subscribing to the Herald when I first moved to West Seattle 3 years ago. I loved having local news delivered to my home – stuff I couldn’t get elsewhere. But over the past year or so I started realizing that a majority of what I read in the Herald was something I’d already read on WSB. Take, for instance, the cover of today’s Herald that I just received: Article about Amanda Knox trial (yep, read on WSB), and an article about the death of Steve Bushaw (yep, read that here too). So the Herald has become much more irrelevant to me. I wanted to cancel it, but my husband wants to support them, so he pays for it. Plus my husband doesn’t get the chance to sit and read WSB like I do.
I think the assumption is that a “blog” is something written by people who have nothing better to do. Perhaps WSB is an anomoly in that it is written by professional journalists. I could care less what the quality of a photo is, or that there are ads on the side. If the information is relevant and helpful to me, I’ll keep coming back.February 12, 2009 at 2:35 am #657886
The WSH is good for local obits. Otherwise it is last week’s news, next week.February 12, 2009 at 2:36 am #657887
WSB is cutting edge and unlike any news source i’ve ever seen. It’s a combo. of everything else. It uses the best features of old school news and combines it with the glory that is the internet. Several major decisions in my life have taken place do to the blog. In fact, I found my current house because of the blog. We started our knitting group(s) on this blog. And that doesn’t even cover the instant yet responsible nature of the news. I think the Herald thing is hilarious. Most people don’t know how to be creative and that;s just sad. Technology means everything has to change and fast! I love it. Things need to be shaken up. The TV news and lots of written news are not only completely out of touch with reality, they lack immediacy and are irrelevant. I can’t even begin to fathom why they cover a lot of what they cover and how they don’t even appear to be human while doing so. I love this blog and no thinly veiled critique is going to turn any fan away. This is cutting edge, man!…which brings me to the next lack of a point: The Stranger (which is considered the hippest zine in Seattle by many) doesn’t ever give West Seattle the time of day. That just slays me. :)
I don’t think i’ve ever read the Herald. And now that the PI is going down, I’ll read WSB more than ever. The Times sucks, too!February 12, 2009 at 2:38 am #657888
I’ve read and re-read the WSH editorial and also the comments here. It’s all a very sad commentary. The editorial is a knee jerk reaction to changing times, and I think not well thought out or representative of what the paper is all about. Perhaps there will be some second thoughts on their part and some bandages put on the foot they just shot. Communities need a local paper and they deserve our support. WSB has contributed in countless ways to our neighborhood, and they too need our support. I subscribe to the paper and my company advertises in it, and both will continue. The audiences for readership are different and those differences should be respected. I urge the support for both venues as they each serve our community. Vitrol in comments serves no purpose. Hopefully lessons will be learned as we move forward in changing, and challenging times.February 12, 2009 at 2:51 am #657889
I love the West Seattle Herald, and will continue to subscribe. I must admit, this editorial is almost comical. I understand trying to defend your profession as a print journalist… but come on! (as Gob would say). Let’s examine:
“Professional journalists don’t waste your time”
Unless you consider waiting a week to read a news story a waste of time. Let’s face it, today people want to know what is happening…RIGHT NOW. It is the state of our society…for better or for worse. Also, the editorial asks if we are seriously interested in “live blogged” events. I think most people, if they are truly interested in a particular subject, are very interested in up-to-date reporting. We are quite capable of looking at all the information and creating our own “summary” of the story, we are not idiots that need a “professional journalist” to summarize it down to a few sentences so we, the blabbering masses, can easily decipher it.
“Print vs. Online Advertising”
I am not sure why the editorial thinks we, the reader, should be concerned about how much the newspaper makes from print advertising versus a blog and what they make using online advertising. It’s almost like they are trying to defend their exorbitant rates for taking out an ad in their paper. I assume he is talking about businesses using their paper for advertising, versus individuals taking out want ads. It is pretty obvious to everyone that with the advent of sites like Craigslist personal newspaper ads have become completely obsolete. If I need to rent out one of my houses, or sell my 6 month old cell phone, you can pretty much guarantee I will not be taking out a want ad in the West Seattle Herald or Seattle Times. Craigslist and eBay win at this game hands down.
“Things change and so do people”
This paragraph proclaims that less information is better. “Information bombing” as they call it will surly overwhelm our simple intellects and confuse our tiny brains.
“Past is prologue”
This seems to be a re-hash of the theme off “we as journalists know what is best for you, there is no need for you to be bombarded with too much information…you won’t be able to understand it.” I also like how he mentions radio as a source of instant news. Not sure what he is trying to prove here, other than the fact that if you want to get your news as soon as possible listen to the radio.
“Reports of our death are greatly exaggerated”
For this I am glad. There is a very real place for print media. Like I said in the beginning, I subscribe to the West Seattle Herald, and I enjoy the publication. I think there is plenty of room for print, radio, and online news. They each serve a different purpose. This editorial appears to be a slam from an old world technology against a new world technology. Like he said, “Things change and so do people.” Hopefully the West Seattle Herald heeds these words of advice and is able to change with the times, instead of being the cantankerous old man yelling at the playing outside his yard.February 12, 2009 at 2:53 am #657890
I’m just trying to parse the point of the editorial… Are they bashing ‘news’ blogs in general? Are they saying “web is bad, newsprint is good”? I don’t get it.
They do say they are relaunching their website to “bring … more information and provide greater interaction” (uhm, like a neighborhood ‘blog’?) Are they trying to develop their “vibrant community of readers”?
I wish them luck trying to copy the success of WSB and hope they’re smart enough to implement some of the feedback they got thru the phone survey.
They could start with fixing the glaring 404 error I get when I click on the “Just In” news link on the top of their left navigation list.
The only time I look at the print version of the Herald is when I pick up a free copy in the lobby of my grandma’s apartment building.February 12, 2009 at 3:37 am #657891
Ah now come on you lot, The Herald is great for wrapping up fish-n-chips:) Any other uses ya can think of?February 12, 2009 at 3:40 am #657892
what a disappointment to reply to their editorial and wait a week or two to see if your comment is one they will print:(
probably not.February 12, 2009 at 3:48 am #657893
lol, cruiser. I prolly wasted too much time on my comment but that was sooooooo stupid. I need to get a bird so I can line it’s cage.February 12, 2009 at 4:02 am #657894
Just a point on the advertising bit – I actually do click on the ads here in the WSB for several reasons:
*They are LOCAL businesses
*I read the WSB intro article and it usually leaves me wanting to know more
*Coupons! Loved the one for CLICK!February 12, 2009 at 4:18 am #657895
I really enjoyed all of the comments here and they did make me think. I subscribe to the Herald, meaning I pay to read it. That had me think about it… other than donations, the WSB is not a pay to play (uh, read) …. Guess I will start a regular “donation” to the blog, as I really do get more out of the blog than the Herald — and try to read it daily. Thanks again WSB.February 12, 2009 at 4:48 am #657896
Thank you for your comments.
Tracy and I will be addressing all this later this evening.February 12, 2009 at 5:39 am #657897
I’ve written here before that I used to subscribe to the Herald. That is, I subscribed until I found the WSB. I never got the news and info about WS that I wanted from the Herald and got exactly what I was looking for on WSB.
This reminds me that I should be donating to the “Tip Jar” what I would have been paying to WSH if the blog was not here.February 12, 2009 at 6:07 am #657898
Me too, LisaM. I made that point on my comment to The Herald, too. This is the ONLY place I click on advertising.February 12, 2009 at 6:14 am #657899
Few things are as abused as the wisdom found in a religious tract or something said by the Founding Fathers.
Allow me to torture the latter.
Buried in the Federalist Papers is an interesting discussion about the freedom of the press. It revolved not around the abstract notion of “the press” but rather the physical object itself. The idea was that the greatest number should have access to the instrument necessary to disseminate information if the public was to truly be well informed. I have always kept that in the back of my mind right next to the phrase which was found on the cover of The Last Whole Earth Catalog, “Access to tools.” Coming forward to the current day, we now have the ability, thanks to the tools technology has provided, to disseminate information faster and at the same time reach more people than the Founding Fathers could have ever imagined. In that sense we have honored their thoughts on the matter more so than any other generation.
What they certainly would have been surprised about is that these tools have allowed this to become a conversation, an exchange, or even a collaboration, if you will. Again, because of equal access to the tools necessary we can interact with you. We need look no further than the recent storm. As such, this is the changing nature of journalism. No longer are we locked into either top-down or trickle-up models. If anything this page can be seen as a flat, geometric plane, a horizontal model resembling an old big-city train station where people come, go, stop to pick up information necessary to their journey, and go on.
One thing the new model is not is a zero-sum game.
In this form there is no end of space nor limits of time, therefore there are no limits on the amount of information that can be had. That’s why we’ve been able to include so much of the information you have given us. It’s why you are now part of a larger process of gather information and distributing it. That process in turn is the future of news.
With that in mind I would like to move on from this topic. What I’d like to do instead is to let you know that in the near future there will be a town-hall style meeting about the future of journalism in Seattle. The meeting is an outgrowth of the P-I’s decision to put the paper up for sale. Rather than discuss the pros and cons of the two news sources in West Seattle I would like to ask that you come to the meeting and talk about how you are part of the how information, in this case news, is gathered and distributed. To talk openly about how you the reader and we the journalists are now part of a two-way process.
This invitation is extended to our detractors as well.
If you need the time and place of the meeting please go here –
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