Dec 14, 2016

News In The Lehigh Valley

One of the new terms from this election, among many, is fake news.  With so many people now getting their news and information from scrolling on a  mobile device, often a headline is what people have come to believe.  Broadcast journalism no longer really exists.  Who believes that Fox is fair and balanced? Who doesn't see the objective of MSNBC?  In our era, trying to get close to the truth is laborious and time consuming.  You have to check multiple sources, and try to distill common denominators in a story.

Here in the valley, I think that we're still pretty lucky in the news department.  It's true that we lost one of the three papers, and the other two are skeletons of their previous self.  And of course, there's certain topics which have no credibility in reporting, such as the NIZ in Allentown.  J.B. Reilly literally now owns the Morning Call building.   The fox owns the henhouse.  Although the paper would claim that there are firewalls, they have always been very thin at 6th and Linden.  That topic aside,  they are pretty good reporting the saga at City Hall,  and being forthright about crime.

WFMZ also does a good job.  Although their medium restricts them to sound bites and short segments for the tube,  their websites produces detailed stories, written by former reporters for both the Morning Call and Express Times.  How many people actually read those reports is another story.

Here in the blogosphere, you have Bernie O'Hare, who relentlessly hunts the stories. Although he has some prized politicians,  he takes his role very seriously, and includes disclosures. Then, of course there is another blogger, who writes less, and likes nobody.

ADDENDUM: The national venues,  such as Huffington Post and MSNBC,  with Trump having lost the popular vote,  are reinforced with their agenda news spin. (Same for Conservative venues, with Trump winning the election.)  Yesterday,  Rachel Maddow and MSNBC, vowed to keep the pressure on the new administration. Of course that means continue with the aspersions and inneuendos popular with their audience.  Entertainment business as usual, masquerading as news.


Monkey Momma said...

One source of news is Facebook. Take, for example, the "Allentown City without limits" Facebook page. At about 7 AM this morning, a message from the mayor went up, decrying the budget that was adopted and warning that snow removal, police, fire and crossing guards will not get adequate funding. (This is my attempt to make my comment "on topic," but I know I'm straying here into off-topic territory. I'll understand if you delete.)

Then, in comments, Don Kistler asks what happened to the crossing guards near him, and an ominous reply from the page manager was, "What is the intersection...thanks to these cuts it might be awhile."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it's still 2016 - why would 2017 budget cuts affect the crossing guard budget in the remainder of this year?

And, from the tone of that post and comment, I can assume that the "City" (aka Pawlowski) will vindictively insure that snow removal and other services listed will suffer terribly, whether or not budget cuts mandate it.

What I would like to know the budget cuts mandated by Council actually require that snow removal and police and fire and crossing guards suffer? this just a vindictive choice on the part of the mayor?

michael molovinsky said...

monkey momma@8:26, as the city controller explained at the council meeting, the across the board cut can be prioritized, so that essential service does not suffer. yes, it is a bully threat being made by the mayor. yesterday, the park department started to demolish the picnic pavilions near cedar crest, on honochick drive. i had urged for several years on this blog to replace the shingles, and paint the structures. the park director was at the budget meeting last wednesday in support of pawlowski's soliloquy about the budget. although she heard the cuts, she still goes ahead to demolish the pavilion?

monkey momma, hope i don't delete this off topic comment

doug_b said...

The line between 'News' (facts), "analysis", and "commentary" has become blurred. I remember when there were no pundits. The 24 hour news cycle has brought us to a saturation point, a point beyond fatigue. Issues keep being created and irrelevant issues are given much more attention than they deserve. I think we are constructing the Tower of Babel - where nobody will believe anything nor will they be able to figure out what is important.

george schaller said...

is that picture of Eddy's news stand that once graced the northeast corner of 6th and thilman many years ago?

JoshLCowen said...

It really is sad that local radio gives us virtually no news. Dan Holzman at WAEB deserves credit for a good job, but the rest of the day is filled by mostly Harrisburg-based readers who can't pronounce many of the communities here in the valley. Most other stations give us TMZ-like 'news.'
I agree that Ch 69 does a creditable job and the website is very good.
A recommendation to readers who have children (even adult children) with smartphones: ask them to at least put local news source apps on their phones with the 'notifications' set to 'on.' It really bothers me that so many genXers and millennials almost brag about not being informed. Perhaps we grown-ups can help.