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Local goodbye not wanted

Posted: March 28, 2009 11:09 p.m.
Updated: March 28, 2009 11:03 p.m.

Michele Buttelman's opinion piece about the demise of local and regional newspapers (The Signal, Sunday, March 22) was a good wake-up call to the importance of supporting The Signal. I would give up my subscription to the L.A. Times long before giving up

The Signal, where local news is reported, argued and revisited like an epic novel; where neighbors become key players through their printed arguments; and city officials and lobbyists become household names as they defend their positions. The local newspaper is not a subtle Internet site, but rather stares you in the face each morning challenging you to read it.

Having said that, there is another concern about the way news reaches us most dramatically through radio and television. The radio is full of opinion talk. If you really want to be informed, try listening to both sides. To do this you will have to catch the extremes of
Limbaugh and Hannity as well as Pacifica Radio (they like the Castro brothers and Hugo Chavez).

They are all informative as they go after the opposition, but don't expect them to expose the soft underbellies of their own positions or favorite politicians. If you want to waste your time with prime-time comedians who mostly joke rather than have prepared discussions, try Air America.

Television news, on the other hand, has become the glamour industry for the rich and famous. I'm talking of course, about the reporters and commentators, not the news. The four networks lead with the same stories and seem to read from the same script.

The cable channels try to present their vision for everything, but mostly from their bias. No need to name the names or their slant as they have all become famous and have made each other famous as they pretend to sound-bite each other out of existence. C-SPAN is a gift from heaven; you can actually hear a whole speech or discussion.

Back to The Signal - because major newspapers can't keep up with the 24-hour radio and television world-wide breaking news and nonstop analysis, they become increasingly irrelevant - but not so with the local newspaper.

Unless we have a major natural disaster, our news is no news to anyone else. Without The Signal, the void in local news reporting would be - well, void. Heard you loud and clear, Michele.


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