Message From the Editor: It's Time for All Menifee Residents to Get Involved and Communicate Effectively With Each Other

Yes, it's me again -- the guy in the picture with the cowboy hat. Usually, you see that face s...

Yes, it's me again -- the guy in the picture with the cowboy hat.

Usually, you see that face staring back at you from one of my "It's a Doug's Life" columns elsewhere on this website. Let me assure you I don't wear that hat much around town; it's just part of the "cowboy wannabe" persona I have adopted since my move to Menifee a year ago.

Sure, I like to have fun with my column, writing about hot air balloon rides, Bingo nights and tarantulas in my front yard. But as you've seen, I can be serious when I feel the need to.

This is one of those times.

For those who haven't heard, I recently was named Editor of Menifee 24/7. As such, I am committed to complete, fair and accurate coverage of the events in town. My mission, developed over 35 years as a professional journalist, is to present the news objectively in a timely manner, with the opportunity for appropriate discussion in the blog format we provide.

In order for me to do that, I ask that you put aside any preconceived notions and judge this publication on what you see here. I also ask that you understand a little about how we work.

Menifee 24/7 serves the community in many ways. Because we don't spend money on printing costs, we are able to provide you all our information free of charge, all the time. This does create challenges, however. Because we are a blog with a continuous news feed as well as static elements for advertising, you will see hard news, features, business promotions and standard ads all on the home page.

We do offer specialized sections, such as information on local parks, restaurants, the arts community and columns. You can access these areas through the tabs at the top of the site. But the page most often viewed, obviously, is the home page. That gives you a little bit of everything.

Therefore, you may see an update on a local fire one time during the day and an advertorial promoting a local business at another. As it is with most publications, advertising allows us to pay expenses and stay in business. The mix of news and advertising may simply look somewhat different to those of you who haven't had much experience with "hyperlocal blogging," as it is often referred to in the industry.

At this time of year, with elections coming up, you will see a certain number of "paid political message" advertorials. Although some election coverage runs as hard news because of its news value to all, we do allow candidates to purchase additional space to promote their campaign -- as many publications do. Every candidate has been offered the opportunity to purchase this space. Not all have chosen to do so.

This should not be taken as bias on our part. Nor should it be considered bias if an opinion is expressed in a column. We give you the same opportunity in the comments section of each posting. Again, however, I would urge you to avoid personal attacks against named individuals -- especially if you are posting anonymously. I oppose this for the same reason I wrote a column opposing what I consider to be hateful public comments at city council meetings. I respect the right of all individuals to express their opinion, but it should be done in appropriate ways, with respect for the public meeting process.

If you are not satisfied with a city council member, your opportunity to help bring about change is coming up on Nov. 6. Your voice can best be heard through your vote. For this reason, I urge all candidates and all concerned citizens to attend the candidates forum this Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 6:30 p.m. at Paloma Valley High School.

This forum, sponsored by Menifee 24/7, will be held in the school auditorium, which seats 250 people. We will use a multi-microphone sound system and the event will be videotaped by a professional videographer. Every attempt will be made to present a forum in which Menifee voters can hear all candidates speak on issues of importance to them.

For this reason, I have been asking for readers to email me questions they would like asked of the candidates. No questions will be accepted from the audience that night. If you have a question you'd like the moderator to pose to one or all of the candidates, please email it to doug@cleardigitalmedia.com today. This will allow us sufficient time to carefully consider each question and make sure all are appropriate to ask in a public setting.

If you are able to attend Wednesday night, I strongly urge you to do so. This is an important time in the history of Menifee. All residents should be informed about key issues before the election. If you are not a registered voter in Riverside County, I urge you to register now. It's a simple process that can be done online at www.voteinfo.net. The deadline to register is Oct. 22.

If you fail to register to vote and don't attend the Wednesday night forum, you have only yourself to blame if you don't like the outcome of the election. Make your voice heard with your vote. And in preparation for that, come hear from the candidates Wednesday night. You owe it to yourself and your community to get involved.

I hope to see you Wednesday night and hear from you via email with your questions for the candidates. Feel free to contact me with any concerns you have at doug@cleardigitalmedia.com or by leaving a comment on this post.


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Post a Comment

  1. Interesting, you say no bias. Word has it Mr. Spoon you personally ask Ms. Kristjansson which day would be best for her to attend the candidates forum. She wanted the 26th of September. Were all the candidates afforded the same courtesy.

    As far as your comment "committed to complete, fair and accurate coverage of the events", so when does that program begin? Soon I hope.


    ReplyDelete
  2. @Anonymous 1:14: I emailed all the candidates asking which day would be best for them, not just Ms. Kristjansson. We went with the day the most people were available. Yes, all candidates were afforded the same courtesy.

    Please don't base your opinions on "word has it" comments you may have heard. If you have specific examples of what you believe to be biased reporting, please email me directly at doug@cleardigitalmedia.com. I am happy to address the issues with people when I have a name of the person to address.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I emailed the moderastor this and let's see if it makes it here too, since my comments seem to disappear as fast as I post them, guess my comments are not liked by one person.

    As to sending you questions to ask the candidates, it seems since there is no 'open mic' for residents, you are going to only pick the questions you want asked, not necessarily the ones we ask, as per your statement on the page, 'This will allow us sufficient time to carefully consider each question'.

    How is that fair to the residents?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. J.D.: The Candidates' Forum on September 26th seems to be modeled after our National Presidential and Vice Presidential debates- hence, the moderator poses questions to the
      candidates also presenting questions previously submitted via Twitter, Facebook often
      accompanied by video feed. This is the accepted professional format for political debate.

      Imagine, if you will, an "open mic" environment - its very nature would most definitely
      devolve into a free-for-all, lacking all protocol. Have you attended the Menifee City
      Council meetings or some of the HOA Board Meetings? All too often they become the platform for a single speaker- a sort of filibuster at the end of which nothing is accomplished.

      For the record, this is a Candidates Forum, not an Open Forum.

      Delete
  4. Doug I always look forward to your columns. I love your writing style and am happy to hear you are now editor of Menifee 24/7.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Your comments are only balanced and fair if they agree with my point of view,otherwise they are biased.
    I hope your interview of the candidates will be more probing than just allowing them to make campaign statements.I am sure if you ask difficult questions their supporters will cry foul. Ah,such is the life of a journalist

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am glad that Menifee 24/7 stays focused on what is positive in Menifee. We do not need to focus on the petty controversies and the negative individuals that criticize the city.
    Thank you Mr. Editor for maintaining your ethical standards!

    ReplyDelete
  7. The thing that bothers me the most about this statement is this, Who is judging what is free speech? My opinion could be ..I don't like Sun City!, and your opinion could be "well I like Sun City, and I don't like your attitude!" and I'm not going to allow you to disagree with me on here! So aren't you then judging 'my' freedom of speech? This could end up in a legal court, one has to be very careful just because you don't like 'my opinion, versus 'your opinion'. ACLU loves these type of lawsuits. Not that I'm going to contact ACLU, its just an example of how careful you must be in trying to shut down others opinions of free speech.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The answer is pretty simple. This is my backyard,If you don't like my rules don't play here.As you may have noticed this publication is pretty conservative on what comments it allows,which is the prerogative of the publisher. If you don't like that then you can go elsewhere to be heard.

      Delete
  8. I agree with Courtney. Your words are refreshing and keep me coming back to this site, for sure! I think your thoughts and ideas are wholesome and much needed. Thank you. I have been a county government employee for 13 yrs and I know nothing worth fighting for comes easy & you can't please all the people, all the time. Have an awesome day!

    ReplyDelete

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