North Coast Journal banner
From the Publisher

April 7, 2005


The good, the ugly


Last week we learned that the sale of KVIQ Channel 6 won the blessing of the Federal Communications Commission. (The sale itself is not yet complete. See "In the news" ) I look forward to the day there is competition in TV news again on the North Coast. After all, we certainly have an abundance of competition these days in the print news business.

It was five years ago that KVIQ and KIEM were all over the county with 15 to 20 staff each in their news departments. KVIQ was producing 22 hours of news shows per week and no story was too small to make it on air. When the station pulled the plug on local news coverage, instead of "More news, more often" (the title of our cover story, June 29, 2000), one year later, with one station remaining, it was "less news, sometimes originating from somewhere else."

This past week I was thinking about television news -- not my forte, I'll admit. On one hand, we had this heart-wrenching, intensely personal family event, the death of Terri Schiavo, turned into an ugly circus covered round the clock on every news channel. I switched channels frequently and finally turned the TV off. What sickened me was not so much the spectacle of people in the streets grieving over a person they never knew, but the politicians who now think they belong in our hospital rooms in addition to our bedrooms.

The networks redeemed themselves later in the week covering the passing of Pope John Paul II. Because of television, the world is sharing the experience in an intimate way not possible 25 years ago.

Being a word person, I still turned to the Internet and newspapers for reflection and perspective. I particularly liked Joan Ryan's Sunday column in the San Francisco Chronicle, calling the pope "a fearless defender -- even when he wasn't right."

"Pope John Paul II presented both a moral compass and a moral challenge," she wrote. A fallen away Catholic, Ryan praised him for traveling the world, speaking out for human rights, against the war, against the death penalty, giving voice to poor and indigenous people everywhere.

"And yet for many of us, this pope was as infuriating and disappointing as he was inspiring," she wrote. His steadfastness turned to just plain obstinacy in the face of great suffering and injustices when it came to issues of AIDS prevention, birth control and the patriarchal structure of the church.

It was not only a big week for television news. On Monday the Pulitzer Prizes were announced and winning the award for investigative reporting was Nigel Jaquiss, a reporter for Willamette Week of Portland, Ore. Jaquiss investigated a 30-year-old scandal involving former Gov. Neil Goldschmidt.

Willamette Week, a 90,000 circulation free weekly, is only the fifth non-daily paper to win a Pulitzer.


--    --    --

DON'T MISS the special insert in this week's paper on Godwit Days, a three-day spring bird migration festival that runs April 15-17 in various locations around the Humboldt Bay.

The Journal is happy to be a co-sponsor of this annual regional event for the first time. We especially want to thank the Humboldt County Convention & Visitors Bureau and other advertisers who helped us publish the edition in early January. Early copies were shipped out of county for distribution at other festivals and trade shows. A percent of the advertising revenue is being donated by the Journal back to the festival.

As a footnote, the Godwit Day tab lists the North Coast Journal as responsible for the design and production. It was a team effort, of course, but it was a labor of love for Carolyn Fernandez, our art director and co-owner of the Journal, who completely redesigned the publication.

Enjoy! And see you at the festival next week.



Comments? Write a letter!

North Coast Journal banner

© Copyright 2005, North Coast Journal, Inc.