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The Pleasanton Weekly asks for your support

Original post made on May 6, 2011

The Pleasanton Weekly may seem free, but it's really not. Publishing a newspaper with a staff of journalists and a website with breaking news is an expensive undertaking. Editor Jeb Bing explains how you can sign up to become a member to help Support Local Journalism in his latest [Web Link Editor's blog].

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, May 5, 2011, 10:04 PM

Comments (24)

Posted by Whaaz Up, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 6, 2011 at 8:40 am

Would the Pleasanton Weekly pledge give more balanced coverage and abandon their left wing biased coverage and their loving relationship left wing politicians if we pledge?

Would the Pleasanton Weekly also pledge to end their too-cozy relationship with the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce PAC and the Three Stooges on the City Council if we pledge?

If the Pleasanton Weekly will make those pledges, then I will make my financial pledge. Otherwise, no way Jose (er, Jeb), you'll have to go tap the PAC and your lefty cronies for $$$.


Posted by tim, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 6, 2011 at 8:58 am

i agree with whazz up!


Posted by Rick, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 6, 2011 at 8:59 am

They only believe in their free speech not others. When that changes you will be supported.


Posted by Kelly French, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on May 6, 2011 at 9:08 am

I have always loved the Pleasanton Weekly and I want to support this publication. The anonymous blogging online is harmful to our community and I think you will have more people willing to "Support Local Journalism" if this ability was eliminated. I like the ability to post comments and to read those of others, but most of these threads become toxic. As another poster commented, people hide behind the cloak of anonymity and post vile, hurtful things due to "keyboard courage". If there was a verifiable requirement to post comments with your real name, I believe the comments posted here would be more respectful towards our neighbors. I am very appreciative to be living in such a wonderful community. I do not think the current anonymous blog comments are an accurate representation of this city. I have lived in Pleasanton for over 30 years and I have always felt this is a fun loving, positive community. The blogs on this forum are doing more harm than good. Can't we agree that it's ok to disagree, but we don't need to be rude and disrespectful in the process? Can a change be made to these blogs that does not interfere with our first ammendment right to free speech, but does create a spirit of respectful dialog more in line with the community of character we love?


Posted by Chris, a resident of Amador Estates
on May 6, 2011 at 9:18 am

Dear Whazz Up...
VERY WELL SAID! I will echo your comments but with a focus on the national elections. Jeb Bing's continuous puff pieces about the socialist/marxist Jerry McNerney has been soooo nauseating...and understatedly biased.

The only reason I even pop into the Pleasanton Weekly online is because it is free. If we had to pay...then bye-bye PW.


Posted by Jennifer Cohn, a resident of Walnut Hills
on May 6, 2011 at 9:18 am

I wholeheartedly agree with Kelly French's post above and will be happy to pledge money when the PW eliminates anonymous blogging on its site.


Posted by A Question of Balance, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 6, 2011 at 9:24 am

The coverage on school and city issues has been lousy. I would gladly pay to subscribe to any paper that is a government watchdog and uncovers interesting stories with in-depth analysis. However, they have reporters who are ex-PR people for the School District and is too closely aligned to the School District and City Government to perform objective reporting, much less critical analysis.

-- Why does the Weekly consistently blame people who become active citizens and participate in the civic process in Pleasanton?

-- Why does the Weekly "out" people that criticize the school district as they did with 'Save Our Schools Sensibly' two years ago?

-- Why does the Patch and Valley Times/Herald often beat the Weekly in printing news that the Weekly reports 2-3 days later.

-- Why doesn't the Weekly cover the Professional Negligence legal case going on with Lozano Smith and PUSD?

-- Why didn't the Weekly cover the FOIA and Brown Act case that happened last year with Lozano Smith and PUSD?

-- Why didn't the Weekly uncover PUSD cash-out refinancing during the 2002-2005 period while it happened?

-- Why does the Weekly consistently lock threads that have to do with pay for public sector employees?

-- Why does the Weekly consistently have editorials that are hit pieces that criticize active citizens (e.g., the "Sour Grapes" hit piece on Councilmember Sullivan a few years back).

-- After over a decade in business, why does the Weekly seems to not be in touch with the residents of Pleasanton so that whatever measure it endorses with either yes or no recommendation, the public almost always votes the opposite of the actual Weekly endorsement (Measure V, Measure P, Measure D, Measure G, Measure E).


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 6, 2011 at 9:41 am

We also have the cloak of anonymity of the weekly itself. The editor is called on the fact that he has a conflict of interest on school finance issues since his wife works for the school district and is a member of the union there. You never see Jeb disclose this fact. Jeb responding that there is an editorial board is no different than hiding in the cloak of anonymity. The newspaper lists only one editor, Jeb Bing. It is obvious that Jeb wrote this editorial.

I expect that this thread will only be open to those who register soon as the weekly always does this with entries that critisize them. The reason they want you to register for these entries is they then have your email address, and they can "watch" you easier.

As residents we need newspapers that are the watchdogs of government; not in bed with government. People district government now for great reason (read any real newspaper and see what is going on). When a newspaper like the weekly is in bed with government, we trust the paper as much as the government; very little.


Posted by "Registered" Posts just limit input, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 6, 2011 at 11:12 am

I resist giving my info out. I already get too much spam, do NOT want to be tracked, traced, or sold things.
And, YES, it does seem like PW cuts off comments whenever they start getting comments they disagree with.
Seems pretty heavy handed, esp. since they can and do delete posts that are inappropriate. I think they should honor decency, but not censor just because they disagree.


Posted by MIke S., a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on May 6, 2011 at 12:58 pm

I would take Kelly French's proposal one further, turn off the blog posting capability. If you have an opinion you'd like to express, write a letter to the editor.


Posted by Not Sure, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 6, 2011 at 1:39 pm

Not sure I could support such a right wing publication. It needs to lean a little more to the left, otherwise it sound too biased.


Posted by b, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 6, 2011 at 1:41 pm

Maybe the Pleasanton Weekly staff should all post their salaries on this website, and then we can all vote on whether they get pay raises or pay cuts this year. Two-thirds "majority" required to pass.


Posted by nope, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 6, 2011 at 3:07 pm

I try to see what value the weekly brings. If you want a place to look at real estate ads, look at mother-daughter look-alike contests, or see your friend having their picture posted with them on vacation with the weekly, then this is your newspaper and you see a value.

The paper does not have any in-depth reporting. Nor does it even attempt to discuss both sides of an issue. The news articles are really more like opinion pieces. Then on top of that you add the amount of factual errors. Most articles in this paper have serious factual errors.

We already have several news resources:
1) Bay Area News Group - While they do not cover a lot of Pleasanton-only issues, they cover many issues that affect us directly like public employee salaries, benefits, and pensions. We all pay for this. BANG has really going into the niche as the public watchdog and presents information that the general public could never find, or have time to put together. When there are local issues that are newsworthy, they report them in the Valley Section.

2) The Independent - While they are headquartered in Livermore, they cover Pleasanton in almost as much detail as Livermore. The editorials are to the left but their news articles are factual and present both sides of the story. I see very little meddling between the news articles and the editorials. Their articles are usually in-depth.

3) The Patch - A newcomer to the scene but is an Internet-only publication. They do not yet have the resources to cover the community and they are not well-versed in the history and things repeating themselves in the community but show some promise. Their overhead is more lower since they do not print a physical paper and have to deliver it. Nor do they have to worry about press deadlines. They can write an article and post it whenever they wish.

I feel the community will do just fine without the weekly. In my opinion, I feel it will be better in the community without this journal because of their factual problems, and selling opinion pieces as news articles to the unsuspecting public. I have been to too many public meetings and then see the weekly cover it and wonder if they were even at the same meeting.

Time for change. Time to let go.


Posted by dublinmike, a resident of Dublin
on May 6, 2011 at 3:31 pm

dublinmike is a registered user.

Amazing to see how many writers do not like the weekly but manage to find the time to read through it and contribute their thoughts.

With regard to PW being too liberal, then start your own. Hold a public meeting somewhere to see how many people show up with an interest to start a local blog featuring the articles think are of interest to locals. You could get a volunteer committee to attend city council or school meetings, and report back.

But, I'm not holding my breath...


Posted by DJohns, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on May 6, 2011 at 3:55 pm

DJohns is a registered user.

I think the PW is a great community paper. We baulk when an article does not represent our own persecutive but the PW is a valuable resource for our community. The online forums give an opportunity to share information that in the past could not be shared. I wish the online dialog would not become so caustic but it is an important tool for freedom of speech that I would not like to see silenced.


Posted by Arroyo, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 6, 2011 at 9:21 pm

@dublinmike

"With regard to PW being too liberal, then start your own."

Or, we could just sit back and watch the libs who love the PW cinch up their moneybelts and let it die.


Posted by dublinmike, a resident of Dublin
on May 7, 2011 at 10:58 am

dublinmike is a registered user.

Arroyo, as I thought may pop up. Sit back... typical lazy whinner on the "Con" right... LOL


Posted by Typical Republican, a resident of Castlewood
on May 7, 2011 at 1:55 pm

I'll gladly contribute once PW shows it can cure cancer. Until then, forget it.


Posted by dana, a resident of Amador Estates
on May 7, 2011 at 7:14 pm

Based on the PW's uber bias toward Obama, McNerney, Pelosi, and the rest of the anti-American, anti-freemarket, socialist democrats, I prefer to think of PW standing for the Pravda Weekly.


Posted by Dan, a resident of Bridle Creek
on May 7, 2011 at 9:35 pm

Kelly, Jennifer, Mike S.

I only used half my real name but my neighborhood is correct. Is it ok with you if I comment? Maybe you'd like to see my drivers license as well? What about my passport?

Yes, let's solve PW's financial issues by requiring people to register because you somehow find anonymous posting to be against your sensibilities. Brilliant.

On a lighter note...

I read the printed version every Friday and infrequently comment online. I like to read about the community and events and what-not...

But "A Question of Balance" brings up very good points. The PW does not seem to bring a balanced perspective to its editorials and offers almost no investigative journalism.

But, capitalism (and business) being what it is, you have a choice to make. 1.) Charge a subscription and take your chances. 2.) Do some real hard-hitting investigative journalism and balanced editorials and see if readership (and ad revenues) go up or 3.) go by the wayside.

I hope PW stays around for a long time.

Regards.


Posted by Annette, a resident of Birdland
on May 8, 2011 at 10:01 am

Dan,
I think you just did a great job of exemplifying the point Kelly, Jennifer, and Mike were making:

"Can't we agree that it's ok to disagree, but we don't need to be rude and disrespectful in the process? Can a change be made to these blogs that does not interfere with our first ammendment right to free speech, but does create a spirit of respectful dialog more in line with the community of character we love?"

Guess not, but thanks for trying you three!


Posted by Dan, a resident of Bridle Creek
on May 8, 2011 at 4:48 pm

Annette,

We can quibble that using sarcasm as a means of pointing out absurdity is "rude" and "disrespectful" all day long.

Hey, I have an idea: along with censoring anonymous comments, we should just censor sarcasm as well, huh? And after that...what?

It's always very telling the lengths some people would go to control the dialog (and lives) of others.

Tell you what Annette, you can say ANYTHING you want, under any name you'd like, and the best part is...wait for it...WE DON'T HAVE TO AGREE...and that's ok for me and should be ok for you too.

That's why we have vanilla, strawberry and chocolate.

Regards.





Posted by MainStreetDiva, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 8, 2011 at 5:58 pm

MainStreetDiva is a registered user.

To: A question of balance.
Who is Lozano Smith?


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 9, 2011 at 8:30 am

Diva, education law firm. Advised PUSD. After the district lost to Signature twice, the district decided to sue LS--using Signature's law firm.


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