Why I used to read the local news…

May 5, 2022 | 1 comment

1960s Political Cartoon

Operable words:  “used to.”  Until recently — actually, until yesterday’s issue — our local paper was the one bright spot in the vast field of journalistic endeavor that makes itself available weekly, daily, even minute-by-minute via every intrusive vehicle the communication world has yet imagined.  But yesterday, though the newspaper arrived online, in my email, and in my post office mailbox, I could find very little to read with any sort of appreciation.

Take the news about the bond failure.  On the face of it: good news to me.  But as I read the reporter’s account and found that he mentioned “Ocean Beach School”… that was the end of my appreciation.  If a seasoned reporter cannot keep the names of our four schools straight, how accurate is the rest of his reporting???   And when one of the voters’ concerns was specifically the importance of community schools, just which community is the Ocean Beach School in, anyway?  I mean how hard is it to remember that it’s Ocean Park School, located in a community of that same name.  (Or did I miss yet another name change in our area?)

1960s Political Cartoon

And then that whole Cold War “Fallout Shelter” and “Dark Bunker” stuff in the “Peninsula Life” Section?  It’s probably just me, but I lived through all of that in the 1960s.  It was stressful then and I don’t find reliving it informative or useful or less stressful now.  We learned nothing from those years, as far as I can tell, except how to stir the pot and get the public upset enough to further support the war machine.  But that’s just me… an old lady wondering what progress, if any, we’ve made in my 86-year-long lifetime.

1960s Political Cartoon

Until now, I’ve always found the Observer a breath of fresh air.  It reminds me that there are many wonderful people doing remarkable things in our small corner of the world.  It even leads me to believe that we are not alone — that other rural areas (and even pockets of the metro areas) share many of our positive values and their residents work hard to keep focused on what they can do to help their neighbors and make things better right here at home.

Perhaps I’m just going through a bad patch and missed the good news.  I hope that’s the situation — or, worst case scenario, that the Observer, itself, was having a bad week.


1 Comment

  1. Debby Halliburton

    Yes, Sydney, I’ve been wondering what’s going on at the paper too. I know it must be hard to keep a small paper afloat but conveying factual, important, local information should not be sacrificed. Many cultural events are completely invisible in terms of coverage in the paper – if I hadn’t picked up the Columbia River Reader I wouldn’t have known the Maritime Museum was celebrating its birthday this coming Tuesday with special events and free admission.

    More importantly the lack of coverage concerning impactful changes like the forced eviction of 60+ residents of a low-income trailer park in Ilwaco and the sketchy details of the proposed recreation club (with designs for 2-4 small classrooms, you could hardly call it a “childcare” facility), our community is very poorly served.


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