HMB Review waves its petard about, with predictable results

Editorial

Posted by on Thu, May 18, 2006

When the Half Moon Bay Review launched the redesign of their paper and website with a couple of snide, gratuitous remarks that seemed directed at Coastsider, I let it go. Why spoil their party?

What continues to set our newspaper and Web site apart from others is that all news content is collected and written by our editorial staff here at the Review. We don’t simply pull news stories from other sources over the hill and post them on our site.

One more thing: We promise to apply the same journalistic standards to our work on the Web that readers have become accustomed to in our news pages over our long history. Just as we don’t rush things into print, we will do our best to assure that what you read on our Web site is accurate.

Maybe they weren’t even talking about us. After all, Coastsider doesn’t "simply pull news stories from other sources and post them on our site."  We do link to interesting articles about the Coastside in the media, about once a week. But we’ve also earned our reputation for breaking hard news on the Coastside.

The wheel of karma has turned, as it always does. It’s time to return to the Review’s 108-year reputation for journalistic standards and not rushing things into print.  Tuesday night, the Review reported breaking news that Caltrans had announced a new left-turn lane on Highway 1. Caltrans had announced no such thing. And the Review only corrected their error after Coastsider posted an accurate report

I’m not busting the Review’s chops over a goof. We all make mistakes.  I’m asking that the Review acknowledge that they no longer have a monopoly on the facts.  Besides, it’s always a bad idea to be too full of yourself, especially if your mistakes are likely to wind up in the newspaper.


Mr. Parr,

This reader deeply appreciates and values the service you provide. You provided faster and more through information when the fiber optic cable was cut—and for details about Devil’s Slide. The reader commentary ability is also great—I actually wish the comments could get posted faster (although I understand the need to have you moderate it).

Now this is not to say that I don’t like the HMB Review. For example, I thought their 10-item front-page FAQ this past Wednesday was great. I think the review largely fills a different role than your web site - so I am grateful for both.

Brian Dantes
El Granada

Barry, They are just jealous…


“The jealous are troublesome to others, but a torment to themselves”

William Penn (English Quaker leader and Founder of Pennsylvania, 1644-1718)

Mr. Parr- The Coastsider gets 11 out 10 in my book. This is my first time using a blog the past few weeks & find it very educational, fun, informative & hope to meet you tommorrow night.

The three piece article by Eric Rice on devils slide was great. Now I know why it took nine years to get we are today.

Thanks for all your hard work.

Steve Habelow
<email>[email protected]</email>

Eric Rice’s three-part series on the history of the tunnel ran in the Half Moon Bay Review.

Barry,

Is the Review still being published? I looked for it printed on yellow paper, but I couldn’t find it!

Eric Rice is missed. He understood the difference between journalism and propaganda.

Ken Johnson

So the Review wrote “One more thing: We promise to apply the same journalistic standards to our work on the Web that readers have become accustomed to in our news pages over our long history. Just as we don’t rush things into print, we will do our best to assure that what you read on our Web site is accurate.”

I, for one, think that’s hilarious.  Yep, I have no doubt that they will apply the same “journalistic standards”.  That’s the problem.

Although, once again, my disclaimer is that I firmly believe the problem isn’t the reporters, may or may not be the editor, but the publisher is definitely the problem.

A year ago, after the Review’s publication of “Sweet Science”, a poorly researched representation of the topic covering both artificial and natural sweeteners, I submitted a rebuttal that I was told was turned down because of its length. After shortening the article twice, it was still never printed. The main source of information for that article, upon close examination, was some rag run by a group of nobodies who’ve taken it upon themselve to redesign consumer protection on the internet.

As much as I get livid with the way the corruption in our legislature has twisted our laws and our food supply, this group’s information was just not up to date nor accurate. The sole listed information source of the Review’s article was so industry tainted that any 7th grader could have pulled together a fairly blistering response to its article with relative ease.

With Barry’s official sanction, I’d be happy to present that information here, although I respect his desire to keep Coastsider.com about Coastside issues.

Any idea what the purchase price for the Review would be?

Not having seen the financials, I’d guess $2million +/- 50%

The Review’s (local, paid)  circulation is declining, despite the fact that the Coastside’s population is growing.  That’s not a good sign.

I think it might be cheaper and easier to start a print competitor from scratch, depending on how eager the Wicks family is to sell.

When I first moved to the coast and started my business, the Review did an article on people surviving the Dot-Com die off. I asked if they could include my address and/or phone number and was told no, it would not be fair to their advertisers. Since that issue there have been countless articles on local businesses that included phone numbers and addresses and read more like a large ad. Inaccuracies and the poorly written and often politically slanted articles have caused me to lose all interest in reading the Review. Your web site came along just in time!

Thank you!

Mike Watson

’Environmentalist—not the blameless sainted school board—responsible for 10 year delay of new school.’ Or so half of the Review’s endorsement of Measure S would have us believe. I sent Clay Lambert, Review Editor, a thank you note for picking at that old scab – it might just be the hitch that will make Measure S lose. The Review: “shrinking state funding” – if the reader has any other source of information, they know the opposite is true, with billions added earlier this year and another three billion added just two weeks ago to state school budgets!

Coastsider.Com: ‘hold your nose and vote for Measure S; it just might do some good’.

A contrast of arrogant blatant PR versus honest opinion. Come on Barry, give me a break and trip up some. According to the ‘Yes on S’ spokesperson, I am the only person on earth not supporting Measure S.

Ken Johnson

No my wife susan is not supporting measure S but I will fill out her absentee ballot & vote yes for S. If you don’t like the school sytem in this state or the USA change it. Otherwise do the best we can with what we got.

Steve Habelow
<email>[email protected]</email>

Sounds like Steve’s breaking the law by voting on his wife’s ballot.

You’re not alone Ken. Put me down for “No on S” too. Where can I get a yard sign? I wrote to the Review on May 12 and they said my letter was too long. I shortened my letter to 300 words and sent it back to them six hours later on the same day. Yesterday I asked the editor why he didn’t print my “No on S” letter and he said at first it was too long and now it’s too late to print!

Linda Prieto
P.S.(Would you print my 300 word letter here?)

Linda,
Thank you. Sorry, no formal ‘No on S’ signs. Try:

On 6-6-6
Just Say No!
To Evil
School Board!
No on S!

Print it up on your printer in 72pt Arial. That might engender conversation, which they have ardently avoided. I found it interesting that at the last CUSD Bored [intentional spelling] meeting; they were pushing “Yes on S” signs on attendees. There were only three members of the public (me, the MCTV cameraman and Cindy Epps), the rest were CUSD employees.

Your problem with the Review not printing your letter is not unique. After four previous unsuccessful attempts of passing essentially the same Ballot Measure, their attempt is to suppress any intelligent discourse or anything factual. Even more serious is the Review’s assiduous avoidance of offering any correction of their disinformation campaign.

I judge a publication worthy of being called a newspaper on the following standard:
Are the Opinion offerings labeled and factually accurate?
Are the articles factually accurate, unbiased, balanced and sourced where appropriate?
Do they correct inaccuracies?

Mr. Barry Parr and Coastsider.com meet and exceed that standard!

On the other hand, there is the Review that fails miserably the entire test!

The Measure S endorsement by the Review’s Editor on 24May06:
“in a time of shrinking state funding”
compare to:
California Department of Education press release on 12May06:
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell issued the following statement regarding the release of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s May Budget Revision:

“The May Revision to the budget delivers on Governor Schwarzenegger’s commitment to restore funding to schools.”
That was another 2.8 Billion Dollars!
http://www.cde.ca.gov/nr/ne/yr06/yr06rel53.asp

OH, what a quandary:
Trust the Review OR
California Department of Education, 
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell!
OH, who to trust!
Yeah, right!

Ken Johnson