Reporter Joe Nelson
Sun / Daily Bulletin

Monday, July 12, 2010 – 10:45 am
Last Updated: Monday, July 12, 2010 – 12:08 pm

One thing is obvious these days. Investigative reporting by local newspapers is long gone.

More and more local newspaper reporters are becoming increasingly pliable to ignoring facts when it suits them. A prime example today is a one-sided story in the Barstow Desert Dispatch related to action by the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors on the Nursery Products LLC – Hawes Composting Facility near Hinkley.

County supervisors are set to take action to adopt a staff recommendation to give final approval for the facility to start construction and operation.

Investigative stories on this site and at highlight several irregularities and competing interests involved in opposing the High Desert operation.

Irregularities which have been ignored by news reporters.

Why wouldn’t a competitor throwing hundreds of thousands of dollars to influence an outcome of a business approval be newsworthy?

Our question exactly!

Nursery Products owner Jeff Meberg has been screaming over the whole environmental attack on his business. He appears to be correct that McCarthy Farms/Liberty Energy, his competitor, is behind this well-orchestrated scheme.

McCarthy Farms activist (not Hinkley) Norman Diaz says there won’t be a large presence at tomorrow’s board of supervisors meeting. Maybe it’s because no one really cares other than his employer.

But similar conduct sure is newsworthy as long as the conduct involves developers and alleged conspiracy theories.

It sounds like political intrigue is a requirement to engage the press.

Mostly this site and the aforementioned blog focus on local media’s withholding of information in published stories, expecially when the information conflicts with the papers own political agenda.

The same can be said for not seeking out the truth in reporting.

For years I’ve heard reporters use excuses such as; the editor cut the material because he or she felt the story needed balance; there wasn’t enough column inches in the budget; it’s not a public concern; or the editor wants quadruple confirmation.

Yes, the Sun actually used that last one on me.

I’m not sure if the newspaper budgets is really the true excuse, or if it’s just plain laziness. Nevertheless, the public suffers.

Reporters often complain they are overtaxed on their story quotas. As a result of this, there is a tendency to regurgitate material from previous published stories, even if inaccurate or dated.

Last weekend, in a published op-ed column, Frank Pine, editor of The Sun/Inland Valley Daily Bulletin newspapers was lamenting how the public is getting its news from different sources other than print media.

Pine was trying to make the case that newsprint would never go away, even though the trend says otherwise.

I beg to differ. As younger more technological teens become adults the Internet will become what they know best.

It’s my belief that incomplete or skewed reporting leads people to seek their news elsewhere. The ever increasing popularity of blogs exemplifies these points.

Increasingly, blogs are routinely being referenced in mainstream network news stories.

Of no surprise, and combined, usually receive more than 100,000 hits per weekday.

Just something to consider.