In News on September 16, 2011 at 10:06 am

It’s no secret that this site was supposed to launch just under a year ago. Why it hasn’t isn’t the “Why” referenced in the headline. Why it’s taken this long to get going is another question for another day. The “Why” I’m answering here is a question I’m sure every journalist struggles to answer at certain points of their career. It’s a question that’s getting asked increasingly as the newspaper industry continues it’s long march towards insignificance. That question is “Why am I doing this?” and the answers are numerous. I’m only concerned with one answer. It’s the answer that drives me to do this and it doubles as the mission statement of this site.

I do this because I feel people have a fundamental right to information. If the press enjoys constitutional protection to attain said information, then we should be protected from having that information taken away from us. Over the past decade our right to basic information like the story behind a shooting in our neighborhood or how our tax dollars are being spent has been turned into a privledge that we have to pay for in order to maintain unsustainable profit margins for wealthy publishers.

I’m compelled to do this because innovation in the newspaper industry is whithering and dying. While the rest of the journalism industry is going through a metamorphisis, newspapers have stubbornly resisted any change. For most papers, their biggest innovation of the past 5 years has been the erection of a paywall. When your biggest change is charging for a product that was faltering when it was free there are some major problems.

That’s not to say I’m anti-paywall, because I’m not. I subscribe to numerous sites that have content behind some sort of tiered paywall. Those sites offer something that interests me, the interesting things newspapers offer have been decreasing exponentially as cuts have been made in response to declining subscriptions and ad sales. They’re pulling back instead of taking risks. The print industry is failing because they cling to their preferred pulpy medium while the wild wild west of the internet is just sitting there with its relatively inexpensive opportunities to innovate and create new, interesting ways to deliver necessary information. The internet isn’t the enemy of the newspaper industry, it’s the evolution of it.

This is the most exciting time to be a journalist because we’re defining that evoloution. I’ve been putzing around on the internet ever since I talked my parents into letting me install that free AOL CD that were ubiquitous throughout the 90s and I know what the medium is capable of. I want to help lead the charge and show all the wonderful ways this medium can help inform and entertain people. People love to trumpet all the negative aspects of the internet, and there are many of them. Often times the internet can be a cesspool of anonymous negativity and I’m tired of being written off as a faceless, negative basement dweller. Likewise, I’m tired of the negativity that permeates throughout my hometown. Stockton is a great town and I’m frustrated that when somebody that’s moved away wants to check up on their hometown they’re greeted with basic articles about union battles and crime statistics. Those things are important and need to be reported on, but there’s so much more than that.

I do this because I’m tired of Stockton being reduced to a bunch of lists and statistics. My hometown is much more than a statistic. Stockton’s been misrepresented for too long and hopefully this site will change that. Stockton’s not miserable or magnificent, it’s somewhere inbetween and I want to accurately portray that through this medium because it’s not being done anywhere else. If that appeals to you then I look forward to working with you. If not? Too bad. Whether you like it or not, here comes The Sun.


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