6 thoughts on “Sound Bites

  1. Speaking as an outside observer, I would say you folks are better served than many communities of similar size found beyond the greater MSP area. You have a newspaper that covers local news, a radio station that covers local events, and access to outside media for a broader context. Any issues and difficulties your local media have are not unique to your area and are a reflection of macro-changes that have occurred the media world since the dawn of the digital age.

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    • What you say is very wise, Mike, and it’s very helpful to have the views of an outside observer. However, there’s always room for improvement for any news outlet. Even Minnesota Public Radio, which I consider to be as perfect as radio can get, has listeners who can’t stand what they broadcast.

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    • The fact is, Mike, that what you read in our local newspaper is “socially biased/prejudicial” information. It only reports and supports the views of individuals and
      groups who are interested in serving only themselves and not the community as a whole. Case in point: When the current mayor lost the election by a 5 to 1 margin, you’d think that the “landslide” victory would have been front page news…it wasn’t…it was page 5 news by the news editor, and page 6 news by the general
      manager/editor. It has also put “misdemeanor” crimes on the front page instead of on the “Courts and Crimes” section because they oppose the views of those being written about.

      I stopped listening to the local radio station when it was purchased by a politically biased former elected official. I compare it to a steady diet of listening to FOX News…do I need to say more?

      When someone is only given a portion of the story, how can they make decisions that are going to affect their own lives, the lives of other people, and may well affect the whole community? This is like having a judge suppress facts during a jury trial for the benefit of the prosecution. How can a jury reach an informed, fair
      decision if they don’t know all of the facts? That has happened in cases all across this nation, not just Little Falls.

      The “local” TV station, that broadcasts the city council meetings, is only available via the only franchised cable connection, Charter. It’s not available to those who
      have Dish or DirecTV. There is no competition available that would be able to carry those broadcasts. There are fiber-optic cables buried all over Little Falls but
      that company doesn’t want to pay the $7500 franchise fees, mostly attorney’s fees.

      Social media is out of control. It has taken over the lives of our society, especially teens and tweens, and because of what has been said on “social” websites, has
      caused the suicides of too many young people. Too many networks on TV use social media to discuss criminal cases during their programming even before the case has gone to trial, retrial, or appeal. What will the future hold for social media? Maybe we will be eliminating judges in favor of “Trial by Dateline”, divorce by “unfriending spouse”, and marriage proposals by #WillYouMarryMe?

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  2. As J.Ski mentions above, our local radio station has a definite political bias, which results in my not listening.

    As for the local paper, I do flip through that and read portions, but I often wonder what’s being left out. And, from personal experience, I have found that there are organizational rules in place about what will be published, but those rules seem to be arbitrary. This makes it very difficult to know whether we’re getting the whole story on anything. It also makes it hard to know whether items that citizens submit will be used, either directly as news/opinion items or as a lead for reporters to follow.

    When it comes to the public access television channel, I’m not sure I’m actually going to have access to it once it’s up and running again. (If I’m not mistaken, there are supposed to be two channels and they will be run by the Little Falls School District and Great River Arts.) We don’t subscribe to cable, so if these access channels are part of the City’s agreement with Charter Communications, we won’t get these channels. Instead, we have a Roku box and subscriptions to Netflix and Hulu. We’re also able to watch YouTube videos through our YouTube channel. If the folks running the public access channel record programs, perhaps they can upload them to YouTube as well and increase local access.

    The primary way I get my news is through the internet and social media, be it world, national, state, or local. Thank goodness for that. When your local news sources are non-existent or less than perfect, the internet fills the void.

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  3. Mary ….the local news media bias can be fixed by eliminating the corporate welfare it receives from the county and the city in the form of public notices. Public notices could be posted on the city website and some paper copies could be put on the table in the front lobby at city hall and on their announcement board with the published public meetings. Simple. It’s going to take a lot of public input to force this.

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