Editor's note: The fact business

Editor's note: The fact business

Michele Ellson

Late night television funnyman Jon Stewart’s guest list last week included PBS NewsHour Weekend anchor Hari Sreenivasan, who offered a pointed take on the changes in what network news anchors offer the public and the difference between commercial networks’ mission and that of the public media outlet.

“The bargain used to be, ‘Give me 22 minutes and I’ll show you the world. I’ve read all the newspapers, and I’m going to tell you what you need to know,’” Sreenivasan said. “Now I think the bargain is, ‘I’ll tell you a little bit of what you need to know, but I’ll also tell you what you’re telling us what you want to know,’ which is very different.”

PBS has “a public service mission,” Sreenivasan told Stewart, who hosts a fake news program, while the big networks are “doing what it takes to try to build audiences and make money.”

“Our goal is to try to give you something that will hopefully make you think and try to expand your horizons,” Sreenivasan said.

Just like PBS NewsHour, our mission at The Alamedan is to build an informed and engaged citizenry by providing the information you need to address big community issues and solve problems, free of the wearying partisan noise that can divert citizens seeking a clear path from Point A to Point B. Our goal is to provide clear, detailed coverage of important local issues along with the community’s opinions on those issues in a way that enhances your understanding, rather than just stoking your anger.

One example of our effort to provide detailed local news coverage and a local take on bigger issues is our Alameda Point Explained series, which offers detailed reports on different facets of developing the former Naval base. Another is our schools coverage, which has included a timeline of failed attempts to fix Historic Alameda High School, a breakdown of new Common Core standards and what they’ll mean for your family and our developing coverage of the fresh push to move the Alameda Community Learning Center and the forces that shaped the situation the school is facing.

Like PBS, The Alamedan is in the fact business. And we know that our reading public wants us to dig up more of them. But as Sreenivasan said, facts are expensive. To provide more of the news, explanatory reports and accountability journalism you want, we are going to need your help.

If you value the information we’re providing and want to help us produce more of it, you can make a tax-deductible contribution online or by sending a check to our fiscal sponsor, Community Initiatives (with Alameda Community News Project in the register) at 354 Pine Street Suite 700, San Francisco, CA 94104. A $35 contribution covers a month of web hosting, while $100 pays for a news story and photo. A $500 contribution would cover a whole week of news.

If you’re a business owner and would like to demonstrate your commitment to an informed and engaged community, we hope you’ll consider sponsoring The Alamedan .

Community members and business owners who support our work are essential partners in our efforts to keep Alameda informed. So I want to offer a heartfelt thank you to our very first sponsor, Gallagher & Lindsey Realtors, and also to Taggart Gorman, Clair McDevitt, Peter Grosser, Eva Volin, Mohan Vemulapalli, William Schaff, Joy and Mike Johnson, Connie Turner and Steve Gerstle for their recent contributions.

I also want to thank you for reading, and to invite anyone with questions or suggestions to drop me a line at michele@thealamedan.org.


Submitted by frank on Wed, Jan 29, 2014

Sadly this video link reflects what has happened to Mainstream News