Decimated newsrooms serving up pablum journalism

In an era where newspapers die and decimated newsrooms continue to shrink,  it’s hardly surprising Kitchener residents are fed such a thin diet of daily-newspaper content.
Pablum news is also dished up by our CBC outlet and other local radio-TV stations where news staff have also been gutted.
One example of skim-and-trim coverage involved Kitchener council’s recent budget.
Any person seeking substance or thoughtful analysis was instead given basic facts and, with the occasional exception of the weekly Kitchener Post, shallow, predictable editorial opinion
The facts:
Seven councillors approved a 1.46-per-cent property tax hike combined with a 7.6-per cent water increase, a 10.8-per-cent sewage increase and a 9.2 per cent stormwater hike. On a typical house, this means a combined annual tax increase of $103.33 for Kitchener’s share of property taxes.
We then heard criticisms about such necessary increases from knee-jerk editorial writers followed by similar waffle from four councillors who, one eye on future votes, tried to cut taxes that will cost the average Kitchener homeowner less than two bucks a week (about 28 cents a day).
Meanwhile, journalists did nothing to investigate how former councillors were responsible for the fact taxpayers now face a $252-million infrastructure bill that accumulated between 2002 and 2012.
After waiting a week since budget night, I’m satisfied no reporter intends to talk to councillors who, also trolling for votes, ignored that deficit. They would not have been hard to find because a few remain on Kitchener council while others have become regional councillors.
If contacted, they could have been asked about the fact Kitchener taxpayers now have to cope with 9-per-cent tax increases for the next decade in order to better maintain infrastructure and pay for that massive deficit.
At budget, I joined six councillors who supported absolutely essential increases while Coun. John Gazzola unsuccessfully led the charge of the usual minority brigade to cut taxes and dilute overdue efforts to trim that deficit.
And what happened after he did his best to once again ignore the fact that debt will be inherited by our children and grandkids unless we take responsible action now?
Gazzola, a councillor since 2002, was praised and had his halo polished by our simplistic, gullible media.

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1 Response to Decimated newsrooms serving up pablum journalism

  1. Billiam says:

    What’s even worse it that the news isn’t even getting delivered to all households anymore. I have a longstanding subscription to The Record newspaper, and after Metroland Media wrecked flyer distribution last fall, in spite of lodging dozens of complaints, I don’t even receive the Kitchener Post anymore because they claim they don’t have a flyer carrier for my area. Then I asked the Kitchener Citizen why I don’t receive door delivery of their monthly paper, and was told I live in a “rural” area — huh?? I can walk to the community centre; I’m nowhere near the city limits. Really it’s just an excuse by their contractor to save money by only hiring carriers in neighbourhoods where it’s financially convenient.
    Frank, you ought to be wary of this: it’s not just the pablum journalism, but also the careless circulation, that’s ruining an informed citizenry. City councillor columns, Your Kitchener, Region News, etc. aren’t even getting to as many households as they were a few years ago. Expecting everybody to constantly lookup these things online is not a one-size-fits-all solution.

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