Sunday, July 5, 2009

Weekend incident in Hampden, little reporting, and a negative to our democracy

Buz was struck how the recent incident in Hampden received next to no news scrutiny. Last Sunday night: several dozen police, many streets blocked off, not only to cars, but also to pedestrians, hundreds of residents watching, bunches of them "trapped" in their houses, armed dangerous man in his house with or without hostages, tear gas, police shooting the street lights out, helicopter circling overhead---all for hours.

And nary a peep in the Sun, except a 13-second blurb from its media "partner" WJZ. Oh, and a small piece in the Messenger by Adam Bednar.

Why? Not because people weren't interested: Buz's little blog posting about the incident got more comments than he has ever had before. And it drew a wide range of comments about the incident. I suppose this is the advantage of "web 2.0", but we'd really like to hear more details about the incident: the basics of what really happened, unearthed by a professional reporter, an official statement from the police, what happened during the standoff, what were the charges against what suspect, etc., etc., etc.: did he make bail, what is the bail, what is the trial date,and so forth.
But, nada: all the reporters were off, because the Sun doesn't have enough money to pay them to work on Saturdays, Sunday, holidays, etc. So, just using this as an example, whatever happens on weekends, stays on weekends, just between the police and the thugs and what little the neighbors learn among each other and the few neighborhood bloggers out there.

It's the coming wave. Wal-Mart first featured the race to the bottom, now we're feeling the results of Wall Street's race to the bottom; the democracy suffers from lack of information for its citizens to know about what's going on, and perhaps maybe we would've got a Tweet if we were on Twitter..............but only if the police felt we should. (The Sun had always been a profitable paper, but Craigslist and Wall Street combined to make that not matter). So, of course, we don't need the Sun: we can find out all we need to know on line. Maybe.