Stockton Ca= media black hole. Simple equation right? True right? But why...
A quick search of the licencing of the top three television networks that supposedly service our area reveals only one, (KOVR 13) is officially licensed to Stockton. Of the sister stations, KQCA My 58, holds a Stockton licence as well. On the radio side of the house, our city can claim a little more air space with ten or so FM stations and less than five AM frequencies calling Mudville home. In a town of almost 300,000 those numbers should sound sufficient enough to cover all of our news right? When used correctly and in a perfect world the answer to that question should be a resounding yes... but we are not residents of that perfect world, we are here in Stockton CA.
Put it in perspective this way and experience the ramifications of this yourself, next time you watch the evening news, count how many times Stockton is mentioned. Then go one further, count how many of those stories paint anything but a negative picture, ie. murder, theft, government scandals, etc... Granted those exist here as they do in every city, but it seems that's what it takes to make Sacramento look south.
Now take away the "puff" pieces, and any news consumer knows what I am talking about. Little Jimmy got his boy scout group to participate in the state spelling bee and won. Not that I am taking anything away from the validity of those types of stories, they do have their place...again, just not as the basis of what another city thinks is news in our backyard. Guaranteed there were dozens of other stories more newsworthy that were passed over because people in the capital city wouldn't leave their broadcast with the warm fuzzies.
As far as radio is concerned, if you want local newscasts, you can catch the headlines on KJOY between 5am to 10am, after that, enjoy the music. Local event mentions are limited to those who have paid to be included in liners repeated throughout the day.
Where does that leave us fellow Stocktonians? "And Rod", you ask,"what can we do about it?"
It leaves us at the mercy of news desks that receive email after email from our residents about events that are important to the city getting summarily deleted as they are read. Of course several factors dictate the necessity of deletion. Not the least of which include the expense of dispatching a news crew to cover the event, which in today's economy has made the thirty-some-odd mile drive down I-5 a budget draining activity. But really should a story that could potentially benefit a deserving organization suffer because of circumstances beyond their control?
As far as what we can do to take back our voice... I think there are those who are on the right track. Between the growing social media movement in town and those who have taken living the, "great life" here in Stockton as their personal mantra (yes Matt, I am talking about you), the once great Port city has the potential to control how the rest of the wide world sees us free of Sacramento influence.
The answer my friends, is blowing in the cyberspace winds. It is the Internet that will set Stockton free once and for all. Are you brave enough to join in the revolution?
More to follow...