Sunday, January 8, 2012

Next Meeting

The first meeting of 2012 will be at the Barco Library Wednesday, Jan. 11th. at 7:00 PM. This will be a general membership meeting for informational and educational purposes.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Daily Advance enigma

I had a good discussion with the County Manager about economic development, tourism, ethics in journalism, and The Daily Advance. He had also discussed same with Ann Hoffman, the publisher. In times when our various locales are all seeking new investment to broaden our tax base, promoting our area's attractiveness is very important. In Currituck we spend literally millions on it every year. When a single business interest, like a newspaper, puts its own interest above that of its readers and community, there is a conflict that harms all.

The Daily Advance is owned by Cooke Communications, a privately held company headed by John Kent Cooke, Jr., scion of a pretty well-known sports and publishing family, and also a pretty liberal fellow. Cooke bought TDA along with a few other daily and weekly NC papers from Cox Communications who had decided, and probably correctly, that print media was a dying breed. Nevertheless, TDA bolstered by Cooke's demeanor and its editors' connections to some "old guard Currituck political hacks" (which we won't name here and now, but soon) pursues it desperate need to sell papers at any cost - and the public be damned.

Its one thing to report the bad news when things are challenging and need a little sunshine, and its another thing to herald good deeds and accomplishments showing the best of humanity, but to constantly drone on and on about insignificant issues of no consequence for the sheer sake of embarrassing any individuals serving the public in often thankless, and always under-compensated, positions is just plain self-serving and a very real detriment to the public.

When scouts for potential employers visit our area and read the drivel printed by TDA, especially if they are from an area of any sophistication and forward thinking, they just shake their heads and seek greener pastures leaving us poor schmucks to endure the lot we have tolerated too long.  Competition in our market once helped keep everyone on the straight and narrow, but since the demise of The Independent and contraction of coverage by the Virginian Pilot that has changed. When our former commissioners got mad at The Independent for questioning their self-dealing and heavy-handed management, they pulled all the county advertising and sent it to Elizabeth City. "Buy Local" wasn't very important to them then but what they did had far worse consequences in giving TDA almost a monopoly to affect public opinion. TDA doesn't have much circulation in Currituck, but it tries mightily to make up for few readers by repeatedly inciting the weak-minded. Maybe its time that changed. Maybe its time there was some competition and balance to the news. Rumor has it enough well-intentioned citizens who believe we deserve a fair shot at attracting investment to our area are banding together to push TDA back into its proper role of reporting the news, not editorializing it. If we want editorial entertainment there's Jon Stewart, Colbert, Rush and Sean Hannity. If we want the straight scoop we should have a place to find it. (this post by John Rorer)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Getting ready for 2012

Our new blog is ready for all your discussions, comments and questions about Currituck County government, upcoming events, the campaign year of 2012 and anything else of interest to the voters of our area. Let's hear what's on your mind.