GrokSurf's San Diego

Local observations on water, environment, technology, law & politics

Print news is old news

Posted by George J Janczyn on October 30, 2009

The Mission Times Courier is a monthly (11 times per year) community newspaper that is delivered to 22,500 homes in eastern San Diego neighborhoods including San Carlos. It’s a nice paper to peruse for local happenings, but it does run into trouble when it chooses to run stories that are time-sensitive.

SanCarlosLibrary

The small lot is on the extreme right

The October 23 issue now appearing in driveways has a front-page article headlined “Councilmember Blasts Mayor over Winter Homeless Shelter Location” and the first line quotes a press release by Councilmember Marti Emerald that says “the location chosen by the Mayor’s office is absolutely inappropriate for a winter homeless shelter.”

The location is a small lot next door to the San Carlos Branch Public Library at the corner of Jackson and Golfcrest Drives. The small lot previously held a gas station and was designated for a future (distant!) expansion of the library, but is presently used for private parking by nearby apartment/condo residents.

No further details are provided in the paper. Marti Emerald’s website has only the press release.

The problem with the paper’s story is that the San Diego City Council decided on October 13 to place the emergency winter shelter in East Village, east of the Gaslamp Quarter.

Considering the Courier’s wide distribution, headline, and story many local residents could believe that San Carlos was chosen (unless they’ve been following the issue all along) especially since the San Carlos angle on the homeless shelter story wasn’t brought out in local news stories anyway (please correct me if I’m wrong about that). Online, the Courier’s website has no mention of this development either, other than an obscure note saying “Our thanks to everyone who wrote to Mayor Sanders about not using the parking lot at Jackson and Golfcrest for a homeless shelter. It was not a good selection.”

Community print newspapers with infrequent circulation should definitely steer away from breaking news items.

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