Local Professional Journalism Matters Especially When Reporting Controversial EventsOpinion
OPINION — San Angelo LIVE! reporting comes under criticism occasionally for being callous, unattached and sometimes even untrue. Professional journalists will always be criticized by people involved in controversial stories and in the age of social media, it’s simple and easy to condemn and criticize our reporters and our stories anonymously or behind a keyboard.
I am the Editor-in-Chief of San Angelo LIVE! and I couldn’t be more proud of the job my team of professional journalists do everyday. Do we get everything right every time every day? Perhaps not. But then again no news outlet does. We correct any errors of fact immediately and explain how those mistakes happen. We are not perfect; but we spend every minute of every day trying to be. Every real professional journalist does.
There are several unique attributes which separate San Angelo LIVE! from the rest of the media in San Angelo and West Texas. First of all, we are locally owned and operated. San Angelo LIVE! publisher and owner Joe Hyde lives in Tom Green County, owns property in Tom Green County and raised his children here. He is committed to this city, this county and west Texas. Second, San Angelo LIVE! has the largest audience of any media outlet in the Concho Valley.
With 255,000 unique visitors per month, and 65,700 of those visitors are located inside the San Angelo Designated Market Area, or DMA, our numbers speak for themselves.
Every local TV station has a smaller viewership than us. The corporately owned, non-local Gannett newspaper’s circulation has diminished to almost nothing. While the ‘San Angelo Standard Times’ continues to solicit subscriptions on Facebook under the guise of ‘supporting local journalism,’ the newspaper is owned by a big corporation headquartered in McLean, Virginia, the ‘paper’ is printed in Abilene, and the money collected from you and local businesses doesn’t stay here; it supports big corporations outside of San Angelo.
Do you think local journalism is supported by advertising at a local TV station or radio station? Think again. There is not a locally-owned radio station which covers local news. Not even Foster Communications. Foster Communications has one full-time news reporter and he doesn’t actually go out and cover local news. I haven’t seen the Foster Communications reporter at a crime scene or in a court room or at a newsworthy local event in years.
As a professional journalist since 1988 in San Angelo, I’ve seen how reporting has changed with the advent of the Internet and social media. The Internet has made local radio and TV news mostly irrelevant.
San Angelo TV stations employ reporters/photo journalists straight out of college and more power to them. The problem is those recent graduates only want one thing; to get enough experience to move away from here into a larger media market.
So where does that leave you looking for local news everyday, 24 hours a day?
San Angelo LIVE! Is locally owned and operated. We employ the best of the best of local journalists. We work hard 24 hours a day to cover everything that is news in San Angelo and West Texas.
We are human and we make mistakes. But as soon as we find we have error, we do everything we can to correct the facts.
In every case where someone is murdered we understand that our coverage is going to be painful to someone. Instead of restricting our reporting with subjective bias, we work every minute of every day to present the facts and only the facts of any given case.
All of us live here and dream here and do everything we can do to make our hometown a better place for everyone.
Thanks for Reading!