I guess all this initiative stuff makes for good copy. The one-sidedness and negativeness printed about the Salida Now initiative seems to be of special interest to The Bee. But then, who can blame The Bee for wanting to sling some mud and drum up controversy to sell more papers? In an age of new media, newspapers are a dying business and desperate times lead to desperate measures like resorting to tabloid journalism and sensationalized issues.
Two good examples are Garth Stapley's article “Recouping Salida costs” (Aug. 9, Page A-14) and The Bee editorial “Maybe the developers really do run the county” (Aug. 9, Our View), in which they discuss developers recouping the costs for the Salida Now campaign. Rather than accurately portraying this fee as what it is — future developers reimbursing current developers for expenditures to plan the Salida Community Plan — The Bee leads readers to believe something unjust is happening. Presenting it that way certainly creates more controversy, but it isn't right! So in the case of The Bee's struggle for survival and relevance in an age of new media, the generalized statement of “Don't believe everything you read” is very quickly becoming “Don't believe anything you read” when it comes to The Bee.
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Editor's note: The Bee has not taken a position on the merits of the Salida proposal, criticizing only the manner in which it was approved. The initiative sought to put the proposal on the ballot in November; instead, Supervisors approved it as presented.