Patrick B. McGuigan
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – In recent weeks, at the CapitolBeatOK (CBOK) website, I have made a point of weaving into the daily “aggregation” (stories on the CBOK website designated as “Top Oklahoma stories”), we weaved in the work of journalists featured in newspapers large and small, and online sites, from across the Sooner State.
Those posts were in addition to our regular use of stories from national sources (at least those offering some no-charge content, or where I pay for access).
At the Facebook pages for both CBOK and The City Sentinel, where I have the invaluable assistance of long-time colleague Darla Shelden, we have featured even more examples of state and local journalism.
A review of these recent daily posts documents the customary range of topics in news stories and commentaries from newspapers and news organizations (including TV) in Oklahoma. (We also used an item from the Fort Smith newspaper.)
The stories posted have put additional “eyeballs” on good reporting about grass roots activism, local schools (public and private, including the only school specializing in homeless children), support for worthy causes and other examples of local journalism.
The reporting was done by Oklahomans, for Oklahomans.
A non-comprehensive list of newspapers featured include: Muskogee Phoenix, Stillwater News-Press, Enid News & Eagle, The Norman Transcript, Lawton Constitution, El Reno Tribune, Miami (OK) News Record, and, as has been our longstanding practice, The Tulsa World and The Oklahoman.
I have included fellow journalists and writers who share my worldview for limited government and traditional morality, from the Muskogee Politico, Sooner Politics, and of course the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs. I’m making a point, going forward, of including a venerable weekly, The Tulsa Beacon, as well as Tulsa Today, one of the nation’s oldest all-online news sources.
From other points on the opinion and coverage spectrum, stories were posted from NonDoc.com and Tres Savage, Arnold Hamilton of The Oklahoma Observer, Oklahoma Watch and The Oklahoma Gazette. While not included in recent weeks, Nathaniel Batchelder, director of The Peace House, has frequently written commentaries for The City Sentinel.
A national news organization, Indianz.com, has become essential reading for me due to regional and national stories certain to impact Oklahoma’s Indian Country. It seems likely stories from this source will increase in frequency at our news portals.
We will continue to highlight Oklahoma commentators whose work often reaches national audiences, including but not limited to Steve Fair, Joe Dorman, Nyla Ali Khan, and Steve Byas.
In the midst of increasing time pressure on your humble servant, we will continue to find and post essential national news for our readers, even as more and more publications, like Oklahoma’s two largest dailies, put most original content behind ‘pay-walls’.
It may seem odd for one newsman to ask that news consumers support, to whatever extent possible, others. But if resources for real journalists continue to decline, print space and online pixels will be filled by others.
In a recent Facebook post I made a request, and repeat it now:
“When it matches your needs or interests, consider supporting news operations (especially in Oklahoma) with advertising, purchase of individual stories or payments allowing you to access to their online editions.
“To survive into the third decade of the Twenty-First Century, journalism will have to evolve.
To retain at least aspects of traditional ‘straight news’ and editorial independence, Oklahoma newspapers and online ‘publications’ need the support of those who still want more than mere ‘echo-chambers’ for their own views. And, even the ones that nourish personal views need help to stay around.”
To discuss advertising with The City Sentinel newspaper, email me at [email protected] or my colleague Lee Vincent (content manager for the paper) at [email protected]. Email is best because of our schedules as grandparents and workers in other arenas.
For us and for the vast majority of news organizations listed above, print advertising and other means of support still pay the bills.
Consider that in your allocation of personal resources, if you value the work we and they do.
Keep reading CapitolBeatOK.com, my independent online news service.
Remember, The City Sentinel is available every month for just 10 cents at the North May Barnes & Noble Bookstore, 6100 North May, Oklahoma City 73112. Go to the checkout counter to get your copy.
Please consider the requests made in the paragraphs just above for your consideration. And thank you to each person who writes words of encouragement to me in what might be the twilight of independent journalism – but which I hope will be the dawn of a vibrant new era of reporting honoring traditional standards of news-gathering and commentary.
NOTE: McGuigan is founder of CapitolBeatOK.com, and editor/publisher of The City Sentinel newspaper in Oklahoma City. An educator and journalist, he is a member of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame.