Thursday, January 10, 2013

Local political coverage

Illustration by Danny Hellman for the Guardian

A chronic shortcoming of local weeklies and blogs is their peculiar lack of real interest in local issues. Take for example Tim Redmond's "2012 Off-Guard awards for the worst of a dismal year" in last week's Bay Guardian. Of 39 items Redmond lists for his awards, only six are on local issues. Most of his awards are potshots at national Republican political figures. Does San Francisco really need one of its important print media outlets pointing out the shortcomings of Republicans? Why does Redmond think he has anything new or interesting to say about people and issues that have already been said---and said better---by publications and online sources over the last year?

The answer seems to be that Redmond finds national political issues and personalities more interesting than what the Guardian really should be doing for San Francisco: covering local issues in more depth. That's why people read the SF Chronicle and the SF Examiner, and that's why they should read the Guardian---and take it more seriously. Its left-wing, PC slant on the issues would be easier to swallow if it worked harder at covering city issues.
The same goes for Beyond Chron, which also seems to be more interested in national political issues than local issues. Like Redmond why does Randy Shaw think anyone finds his banal take on national issues of any interest? Since he's the boss at Beyond Chron, I suppose there's nobody there to tell him that, and he's even written in the past that people aren't interested much in local issues. Maybe if he took more interest in them---and wrote about them accordingly---at Beyond Chron, he would learn differently. 

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