Friday, June 04, 2010

L.A. Times to Give Shout-Out to Our Alternative Media

Can you believe that next month we will mark the four-year anniversary of the meltdown at the Santa Barbara News-Press?

The impressive numbers of eyeballs that the News-Press once commanded are long gone. But where have they gone to? The downfall of the News-Press has resulted in the rise of the alternative media. The local blogosphere has blossomed, The Independent has thrived, The Daily Sound has become a player and Edhat, Noozhawk, City 2.0 and News Off the Press have all come in and planted their flags on a portion of the cyberspace.

Jim Rainey, who writes the "On the Media" column for the L.A. Times, has been in Santa Barbara since Monday to take a close look at what's going on with our local media, mainly the alternatives to newspapers and in particular, the News-Press.

Among those who Rainey interviewed while he was here were Peter Sklar of EdHat and Bill Macfadyen of Noozhawk. Rainey's column is expected to appear in tomorrow's (Saturday) edition of the L.A. Times. One of the things to look for him to be commenting on is the popularity of "Roger the Scanner Guy" who writes for Edhat and has his columns posted there.

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Before turning his attention to the new media landscape in Santa Barbara, Rainey paid a visit to Sara Miller McCune, founder of Sage Publications, who upon the occasion of receiving the News-Press' Lifetime Achievement award in 2006, famously expressed her desire to one day own the paper. Miller McCune has drawn the attention of Rainey not for that but for her Miller-McCune magazine that focuses on social issues and public policy. Rainey's column about Miller McCune and Miller-McCune the magazine appeared in Wednesday's edition of the Times.

Miller McCune wasn't the only Santa Barbara icon to be featured in a newspaper column this week. I especially enjoyed reading Barney Brantingham's story in the current edition of the Independent about Gerald Lowry, the old-time street cop who rose to the rank of Chief of Police here in Santa Barbara. I had the pleasure of knowing and working with Lowry when he was a Captain in the police department. Barney caught up with Lowry who is now 82 and battling cancer.

In his column Barney makes reference to Lowry's predecessor as chief, who was fired by the city, although he doesn't mention him by name.

That was actually the late Neil Adkins. Adkins lived in the Bel Air Knolls area of town and on one weekend he ventured down to the Westside to make a late-night purchase at a liquor store on San Andres Street. Not exactly sure what happened after he got there but somehow or another, Adkins ended up getting into a fight with a customer.

It was shortly after that when he was let go by the City, proving once again nothing good ever comes out of a late-night trip to a liquor store. Especially when it involves the Chief on a beer run.
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