Recently, I realized something scary. Our community has no reporters. Barely any professional local news. Almost nothing.
Yes, I know you what are going to tell me: Heather, you don't know that? Everyone knows that we have that we have no reporters. This is nothing new. Our community has been posting our own news on CudahyNow for a long time. This is something that we should be used to by now. This is a part of an unfortunate but emerging trend in local news. Our community members have to write our own articles. Or if we want, we can pay, sometimes through tax payer dollars, for public relations people to take care of this task. Yes, I do know all of this.
However, during a time when news all-around is so important, our lack of local news recently hit home for me.
I recently noticed our lack of local election coverage. This made me nervous. Fearing that our community would not even know the names of the candidates running for school board, I rushed to submit this information during my own time and of course, free of charge. With the help of a friend, we managed to get something out there.
Yes, I find this scary.
Cudahy deserves the best school board possible. But how can we make an intelligent vote when we barely know anything about our candidates? And why should our communities have to depend on the busy lives of volunteer user-submissions to get news that is - in this day of time - so important?
This may seem crazy coming from a blogger, but user-submitted news should never be the center of a community web site. User-submitted news (volunteer bloggers, YourStories, Photos) should be an additional voice to existing content. Our content should be what you read after you read real local news. However, at this time (outside of Facebook pages, e-newsletters, and outside blogs) we are pretty much our community's only news.
A couple of years ago, the Journal/Sentinel laid off our local journalist and our photographer. Of course I felt, along with many other people, that this was a terrible decision and a sad time for our community. Our community photographer was gone. Our reporter and professional news stories were gone. And a part of our community connection was gone. This decision to lay off our reporters was made with the intention to save money and to officially place the community news in the hands of us.
Why was this decision made?
Khan Academy - When I look at this web site, I think of all the frustration that I had in grade school and high school.
Vividly, I remember my junior high geometry teacher. He was writing on the black board. We were plotting coordinates - or maybe we were looking at the angles of a triangle. I'm not sure. What I clearly remember was -- everyone seemed to understand the problems on the board -- everyone but me. The other students raised their hands. They looked confident. They knew the answer to the math problems. They even casually joked with the teacher. But I did not understand. I just looked at the writing on the board and saw nothing but a giant mess of numbers and shapes that were supposed to mean something, but didn't.