Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Stockton state of the media address

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...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My very own blog

So with the whirlwind of Tweets and the growing #stir movement, my hand has been forced.
For years I have lurked and said to myself, "someday...someday, I will start my own blog, I will make my voice heard." I took a step in that direction a few years back and started my own podcast, Rod's Planet, which gave me a chance to creatively go off about whatever was up my craw that day. But, I found out quickly that it is easy to put out a podcast, but to put out a podcast that lived up to my standards took more work than I had time for. That show was recently resurrected when I met the mastermind behind Podcast Stockton who gave me a gentle shove back into the frey. Several semesters at Delta College and an Internet sports business later, I still felt media starved. Which leads me here....a blog.
If you will permit me, a quick bio so those of you new to me get to know the man behind the rants. (A full bio as well as fun extras can be found on my website) My name is Rod and I was born March 15th at the good old San Joaquin General Hospital. My years of schooling all took place in the Lincoln Unified School District ending in as a Trojan Alum in 1994. After graduation I departed for the Army and spent the next ten years in service to my Uncle Sam (I really have one of those, but it wasn't him). In all of those years I would brag to those not in the know, how great California was and how I very much wanted to get back to the best state in the Union. In October of 2004 I finally put my money where my mouth was and divorced from the military, packed my duffel bag and moved home to Stockton.
My secret passion growing up was sports broadcasting and my mission upon departure from the Army was to be an ESPN Sportscenter anchor. I didn't do much to accomplish that task my first year back and found myself taking a couple of jobs that had nothing to do with sports or broadcasting. Very much tired of my lack of direction, I signed up for an education at Delta College. It was in the first week of school and in one of my first classes, Comm St 1A (Speech) that I was set on my path.
A very helpful instructor, Mrs. Manos, made a call to Dirk Kooyman, program director for 99.3 KJOY and set up a meeting. I walked in to Dirk's office pretty much off the street and left with a job in their promotions department. I held that position for the better part of three years when I took an ill-advised break to sell video games. After realizing the error of my ways, I came back to Citadel and expanded my role to include a stint as street team with KWIN, even making it on-air midnight-6am and Saturday nights. I also had the honor of working as producer for Alexia, which is where I left Citadel in pursuit of my own business.
Valley Sports Network was born out of the extreme lack of good coverage of Stockton area... well anything. For years we have been this media red-headed stepchild of Sacramento and unless something earth shatteringly bad happens, they leave us uncovered. I vowed to single handedly change that and put Stockton sports on the map. The economy forced me to put that idea on ice.
The nerd in me would not allow me to sit idly though and I became curious about the concept of social media. Facebook helped me get in touch with long lost Army friends and became my "gateway drug" into the heavier apps. I started seeing "RT" pop up in my friends Facebook status updates and wondered what they were saying... that led to Twitter.
As I dove into the all-consuming world that is tweeting, several new worlds opened up and now here I sit joining the Stockton blog scene. Now I find myself smack dab in the middle of this new revolution where the Stockton social media enthusiast are banding together to try and turn this town on its ear. I am excited to be a part and look forward to what may come from this experiment. In blogs to come, I will talk more in depth as to what I think needs to be done to expand this initial idea, and how we can claim Stockton as our own and decide for ourselves what the rest of the country thinks about us. To stick it to the Forbes and others that have "sealed" our fate as a city.
This is step one for me... nice to meet you all....