I was happy to see the Nevada City Advocate’s Web site finally make it up. It took a whole month after the launch of the newspaper.
Pat Butler, former editor of The Union and former news director at KNCO, is the editor and publisher. According to him, the Advocate will be going bi-weekly with their next issue Aug. 7 (?). As you may very well know, this revs up the competition in little old Western Nevada County.
These are all good things. Competition will only breed better journalism in the area, which is my chief concern. But there’s also been hoopla about whether or not The Union should write about the Advocate because it is a new business in the area. I thought about this. And then I thought about it some more. I came to a very simple conclusion: Who really cares?
While I think the media haters of the world get a rise out of the notion that there is some conceived news war taking place in their back yard, the notion that people actually care where they get their news from is false. People just want their unbiased, unfiltered, accurate news. That’s their No. 1. If The Union can’t fill that need, they’ll go somewhere else, possibly the Advocate. And if the Advocate can’t fill that need, I’m sure folks will turn somewhere else again. In the end, it’ll just lead to some healthy journalism. The people will win here. Isn’t that most important?
I think the the critique of this news competition will be best left to the blogosphere, where readers can judge among themselves who is getting the job done. Because writing about it, at least for the paper, would just take up valuable space for something far more important to readers of both the Advocate and The Union: news.
Anyways, Butler is supposedly only going to update the Web site on Tuesdays, going against the Web first culture of the modern newspaper. I don’t know if that will change with the announcement of going bi-weekly. The only newspaper that comes to mind with a comparable non-Web friendly policy is the Mountain Messenger — which coincidentally doesn’t have a Web site. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.