Websites covering local issues

Byy On

It is so nice to have several websites covering local issues. The past few days I’ve just not even thought of posting and have enjoyed checking other sites. As new local voices have gone online, I’ve linked to them from the right column for years now. Some early ones are gone - such as the Town Crier. And the Herald got frantic and started 13 blogs in six months. But in general the links to the right try to cover the local independent writers who are posting online.

The fad now is commenting. I’ve been asked a lot in the last few months why there is no commenting here. Of course the ones asking are either anon themselves or are ones who don’t post themselves. Yes, they are the ones who know what others should do. I started this website back when the Herald totally controlled what was news in this town. It was an effort to bring out information the Herald ignored. I’ve always thought others should start sites and I would link to them and we would have many people contributing information for general public use. But over the past 12 years very few have had the time, inclination and energy to start websites. Until Google and a couple other outfits made it easy.

I continue to hand post this website. Sort of like the old guy who could not give up his typewriter for a computer. This post and page and site are all just pieced together with no automatic formatting or auto dating or anything. About two years ago I felt it was time to move towards commenting and I’ve been figuring out since how to do it so it would not just be trash talk. I was ahead of the curve in 1995 with the idea of posting in reverse chronology my political opinions on a website where all could read - if they wanted to. For the past two years I’ve been thinking of how to hopefully make a site that provides the next step for online political information.

Then there is young Sam Taylor. He is a bit too full of himself lately. He seems to be just trying to pick a fight with me or John Watts. And he is being reckless with the facts in the process. Take his shot at Watts today. On Friday the news was the city would reduce the B&O tax. On Saturday Watts posted that the Herald missed a good article by not having anything in Saturday’s paper. On Sunday the Herald ran a story by Sam on the B&O. On Monday Sam complains that Watts missed his article and was mistaken in posting that the Herald had no B&O coverage. Sam ignores the chronology. Why? I don’t know. He did the same with a post of mine a week ago where he ignored what I wrote and invented what he imagined I wrote. Maybe he is just trying to challenge the two old guys on the local ‘blogs’ in order to assert himself as the new expert. Maybe he is just trying to assert his independence, like a teenager fighting with his elders. Who knows. It is all very unnecessary and takes away from the general respect we all feel for Sam.

Gentle reader, there is a lot of room for lots of different types of political websites. We are just citizens exercising our right to free speech as per the First Amendment. We are generally responsible and factual - contrary to what some might say. And we are still inventing new formats for comment, news and information. The current blogs - like Sam’s - are probably going to evolve also in the near future. Newspapers are throwing mud at the wall by trying all sorts of things online trying to guess what will work. They haven’t a clue - as several newspaper experts admitted last week at the City Club - including the Herald’s publisher.

Well, some of us do have some ideas of what is the next step and how things may evolve. I am trying to move this website into the next stage. It is not easy. The goal is to make something that will serve the community and provide the information people need in order to be informed citizens. I may fall far short of that goal, but that is the goal. And with that attitude, I welcome new websites and will link to them. We are all equal online and with more sites we then improve the service to our community.

About John Servais

Citizen Journalist and Editor • Fairhaven, Washington USA • Member since Feb 26, 2008

John started Northwest Citizen in 1995 to inform fellow citizens of serious local political issues that the Bellingham Herald was ignoring. With the help of donors from the beginning, he has [...]

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