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The Deafening On-Line Silence
Last comment by redeyedrider 5 years, 10 months ago.

Take Me To Post Comment Form

Thank goodness for these blog pages or I fear that the Bulletin's on-line forum would be completely abandoned. For those of us with paid subscriptions, we can see the devastating effects of the Bulletin's new "pay to play" policy on the news and opinion sections' commentaries and posts. In brief, there aren't any (or only one every few days). Now, some extreme conservative views and posts really bothered me, but I do miss the exchanges (not the childish, name-calling digs and vendettas, but the true challenges to rethink or logically defend one's positions) that varying and diverse perspectives provided. This on-line forum was richer and more interesting because of that. Now most, if not all, critical challenges to Bulletin news articles and opinion letters and columns have ceased and these articles and commentaries go undisputed. No more debates on the possible Great Wolf Resort, the enforcement policy of city codes, political opinions, etc. Most go unanswered and that silence diminishes us. As usual, once money gets involved, things take a bad turn. Now instead of a free public forum to air and discuss issues and opinions, we are limited to only those who fork over subscription money which, apparently, many former contributors are unwilling or unable to do. I really miss those contributions, even the ones I disagreed with or refuted because they always presented an opportunity to learn something about an issue or opinion and challenged me to examine my own perspective. To those of you who are submitting blogs and posting comments here to keep this forum active, I appreciate your efforts. I have a suggestion which I am not sure is legal but it might be worthwhile. For those of us who subscribe to the printed edition of the Bulletin, maybe we could copy and paste (I need to learn how to do that) an especially controversial issue, article, column or letter that we think might be of interest to readers on this blog site and further the discussion in this way. It is just that without critics or debates or discussion of issues, I feel that important topics, attitudes, and city policies are not properly vetted and we, as the public, are not as informed as we should/could be. I understand the fiscal challenges and difficulties that the Bulletin and newspaper industry, in general, face. But I regret that the valuable public service that this paper provided, by offering a free on-line forum to discuss issues and current events, is no longer financially viable. What a loss. Sincerely, Karen


Latest Activity: Jan 25, 2012 at 4:22 PM



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TheSovereign commented on Thursday, Jan 12, 2012 at 16:36 PM

It is a loss, but we had it while it lasted.

rozemist commented on Thursday, Jan 12, 2012 at 18:32 PM

Hello Karen
I was contemplating a subscription,but even with a subscription it is evident that there are but a few comments rarely to the News Articles by any paying subscribers.
Without a subscription we can still see the number of comments,and all I ever see is " 0 Comments"
How sad,no voices to state any opinions regarding anything.
One has to wonder if the Bulletin see's the effect as well.And what might their thoughts be on this current state of the online forum,a forum that is almost dead silent.As you stated, a deafening silence.
I miss the comments,the differences in ideas as well,all civil exchanges in the forum were only an advantage ,I can't begin to tell how much I have personally learned in this forum about City Issues, or how many people are in opposition to our current City Leaders,or RDA (FJR taught all of us much regarding that)where is that voice now,gone,along with others.
Nothing goes on forever I understand this.
But what happened to this forum I believe could have been avoided.
I'm glad to see a few bloggers,still blogging.
But am very sorry there is no voices to oppose or agree to any of the News Articles, know one to speak out either way.
Your suggestion of coping and pasting is good,maybe bring it fourth in the form of a Blog with your ideas on it.
People did start to scatter before the pay to view online started,then after it started it became what it is now.Maybe this was just the straw that broke it so to speak.
I'm not sure what is the answer,but I do hope people will continue to blog for as long as the forum holds their interest to do it.
I hope that people will not lose interest with the City Issues because the information online is no longer accessible in the form of news articles .
I feel this helped to draw in people that might otherwise have not been able to attend any of the meetings for various reasons,that the online forum helped to peak peoples interest,so I do hope this will not lessen it.
Your right the Bulletin's online viewing was a Public Service to many,and sad that it ended.
Thanks for your blog Karen
Sincerely,rozemist

TheSovereign commented on Friday, Jan 13, 2012 at 12:58 PM

This site is dying for simple reasons.

I may spend a couple of hours putting together a blog and then spend wasted time to find the offensive word such as in*f*luence.

Karen, you are telling us what you miss seeing others being able to comment on someone else's reporting or posting. If you are sincere about wanting a forum for locals to discuss Manteca issues, then I suggest you don't "copy and paste" articles to discuss, as you had suggested, but rather write your own blog reflecting your view of the subject. I am sure you will have participants in the conversation from those who commented before.

I don't want to sound demeaning in any way, but this is one of those times where if you want something, you are going to have to take lead on it. You can start by writing a blog on an article that was presented on the MB. Maybe others will follow suit and do the same, and you can revive the forum. I would support you in this endeavor, and I am sure there are many in this town that will as well.

We live in a country that has a participatory government..... get off the sidelines and participate.

KarenPearsall commented on Friday, Jan 13, 2012 at 21:48 PM

Hello TheSovereign, Thank you for your input and suggestions. I wrote about copying and pasting an original Bulletin article with the idea that readers would then have a reference point to any personal commentary that my blog (or that of any other contributor who chose to participate) would contain in discussing an issue or topic. I have written letters to the Editor in the past, besides my on-line participation, so I am not always on the "sidelines". Like you, I believe it is important to give voice to concerns with government (at any level) or issues that affect us all. My postings on this forum have admittedly been limited recently, due to holiday obligations and a later attempt to reduce the stress of a hectic (although welcome) season. I will take your advice and watch for interesting articles to inspire a blog or two. I just want to be careful not to overstep the boundaries with too many postings (shades of TheRightChange). I will probably write something about Great Wolf Resorts and the perversion of RDA (where the lure of potential economic growth outweighs the true purpose of the currently dismantled RDA system). That is a local issue that more of Manteca's citizens should be questioning, because it is a use of public funds. It is always a leap of faith to write a blog, because I wonder if it is like dropping a stone down a well where one can't hear the splash. I wonder if I can truly make an impact, but as you rightfully suggest, it is at least worth a try. Sincerely, Karen

TheSovereign commented on Sunday, Jan 15, 2012 at 11:28 AM

Things start with one. My suggestion wasn't entirely directed at you. There were a lot of commenters a long the way, but few contributors.

redeyedrider commented on Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012 at 18:31 PM

I too am saddened by the move that the bulletin made. I too came to the realization of "why subscribe" to a vast wasteland of "0 comment" articles. I thourougly enjoyed the forum that the MB provided for Manteca. After all that is the purpose of the local rag, right? Now it's gone, they have shot themselves in the foot by my opinion. There will be less page views now to sell to advertisers.

KarenPearsall commented on Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012 at 21:08 PM

Hello redeyedrider, I agree with you about the probable negative effect less on-line comments and postings will have on possible advertising revenue. Mostly I miss the community service the paper provided with a free exchange of ideas on the on-line forum. Now, a letter from Frank Aquila, which used to elicit over 100 comments, gets a mere 4 responses. Controversial subjects like the fall-out from the police shooting last year, rosy housing projections, the Great Wolf Resort hard-sell, and city leadership"s feigned outrage over BLD's July 4th profits (the city council agreed to the terms in the first place) are lucky to get one or two comments at best. Most go unchallenged. I wish that the Bulletin would backtrack somewhat and have a "free week-end forum" where subscribers and non-subscribers would be allowed access to comment on local issues that were in the week-end edition. As a paid subscriber, I do feel a bit shortchanged by the Saturday-only paper (no Sunday edition). An open week-end on-line forum would compensate a bit for that. Sincerely, Karen

redeyedrider commented on Wednesday, Jan 25, 2012 at 19:22 PM

The third estate has become the fifth column.


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