I am a long-time subscriber to The New York Times. I am because I believe in keeping abreast of what’s happening in our world and I believe that there is no news source more thorough, more professional, and more fair and balanced than a newspaper which has served as the paper of record for this country for much of its existence.
As important as The New York Times is in my life, WEHOville.com has become a staple of my participation in the democracy known as the City of West Hollywood. WEHOville.com is there to report on crime statistics and patterns, traffic, development, and most important local politics. I frequently comment on important issues discussed in wehoville.com and am eager to read the thoughts and comments of many other interested and engaged WeHo citizens. While I might not agree with all of them, and I frequently deride the ability of and tolerance for anonymity in those posts, I value the perspective that many voices bring to public discourse.
Without WEHOville, our city council and some of its more intrepid members would be unhindered in their pursuit of policies that aren’t always in the best interest of residents. They would be unaccountable for misdeeds costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. They would retain banking relationships without the pressure brought to bear by disclosures in a free and thriving press.
President Trump all-too-frequently lambasts professional journalism as fake news, and worse. I’m sure most on the council privately wish that WEHOville.com didn’t exist and that there were no checks on their often-times silly behavior. We can’t let that happen.
We’d be poorer as a community if we lacked the forum for debate and discussion provided by a local news organization whose commitment is to transparency, accountability, and unfettered access to truth and raw information.
Today, I become a full subscriber to WEHOville.com in order to protect the treasure of any community—a local press committed to truth. I hope you’ll join me and become more involved in local issues.
Public debate is always good.
Public opinion is always a force to be reckoned with. It allows people to feel a part of something.
Great commentary. I concur with its (WEHOville’s) value. I am not sure (just not) of the effect on CC members and other officials.
Agree with you Alan Strasburg. Thanks for putting in writing what I think is the value of our local “paper” WEHOville.com.
As long as you know that you’re reading the equivalency of the National Enquirer and not believe most of what you read here, Wehoville can be quite entertaining.
How beautiful is it that a free and robust press gives you a forum in which to politely disagree! 🙂 I have always applauded you for your transparency in using your full name and identify. Bravo!
For the most part I agree with the writer…..Wehoville is the third thing I read every morning. It offers extremely valuable local information and opinion. I am a subscriber.
But I hope the author’s “participation in the democracy” extends beyond commenting on Wehoville. It’s important that residents engage with their local government by sending letters directly to city leaders and speaking at public meetings and hearings.
Commenting here, where it may or may not be seen by policy makers, doesn’t go far enough to influence the decisions made by our elected officials.
One should not infer by the lack of detail on all of the other areas of direct participation in democracy that he does not engage in the myriad ways in which citizens become involved; he does. This opinion focuses on the value of a free and robust local press.
I don’t know if he (you) do or do not engage in a myriad of ways. I can only comment on what you (he) wrote.
It would have been short and easy enough to include “myriad of ways” in the piece…….But I’m not the editor. 🙂