Despite Voice’s “liberal opinion viewpoint,” excellent investigative reporting

Catherine Doe, Editor/Owner of the Valley Voice, received a hearty round of applause from a packed house during a recent community forum that focused on “Fake News.” The audience expressed their appreciation for the paper’s coverage of the problems at Tulare Hospital. Sponsored by the Visalia Times Delta and 210 Connect, panelists included both journalists and elected political leaders.

While I know the Valley Voice offers a liberal opinion viewpoint, their investigative reporting is generally excellent. The paper is free, so I shall not complain about the owner’s political tilt to the left.

Catherine discussed the challenge they financially face since they are totally supported by advertising. Should they publish potentially negative stories about the businesses that advertise with them?

The Valley Voice deserves credit for offering true, but potentially damaging information, about Visalia Unified’s Measure A bond at the same time as they had paid ads supporting the bond. The district had never been confronted about the January 2018 report by their outside consultant which states their 4 mainstream high schools enrolled 7,640 students in 2017/18 and they currently have total classroom capacity for 8,613. That information was ignored by both the Visalia Times Delta and the Fresno Bee.

But Valley Voice reporter David Adalian wrote a balanced article about the issue after securing comments from the district administrators. It was old time journalism at its best.

The forum about “Fake News” should probably have focused on the public’s declining trust in the news media. A 2018 Gallup survey showed only 23% of the public now has a “great deal or quite a lot of confidence in newspapers.” The result is that the number of newspaper newsroom employees has dropped by 45% between 2008 and 2017, according to a Pew survey.

Ignoring good truthful news stories is just as damaging to newspaper credibility as printing “Fake News.” The Fresno Bee reporter on the panel stated their remaining staff is now gathered on just one level of their large building and they expect to become an all-digital news outlet in a few short years.

Folks may mock Congressman Nunes’ 38 page campaign magazine focused on the biased news coverage of him by the Fresno Bee – but to former readers it simply recapped what they already knew. Unwarranted criticism of him had already become an unbearable personal insult to the judgement of the majority of valley voters who support the Congressman.

The opinion pieces in the Valley Voice may work to get my blood pressure up when 3 cups of coffee won’t. But I will also give them kudos for some excellent news coverage.

Jerrold Jensen

3 thoughts on “Despite Voice’s “liberal opinion viewpoint,” excellent investigative reporting

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  1. Mr. Jensen, do you ever ask yourself why you believe so many different news sources are biased? If you see biased voices all around you, do you consider the possibility that maybe you are biased yourself?

    You at least acknowledge the fact that there are going to be times when a newspaper will have a conflicting interest to publish a story because it disparages an advertiser they depend on. I applaud you for that. Now just extrapolate that line of thinking to the macro level. You are your own individual person. YOUR interest is NOT 100% the same as your wife or children’s. To put it simply, EVERYONE is biased. You are biased. I am biased. ALL Newspapers are biased.

    Now consider a hypothetical ValleyVoice story about a local man who claims extraterrestrial space ships are invading the Earth and they are carrying terrorists inside of them. The local man happens to be a republican representative. You nor I have the resources to investigate the man’s credentials or verify his claims are true. This is what newspapers do. Newspapers are doing the most basic fact checking calling experts and witnesses to make sure the local man’s claims are true or not.

    The most irresponsible thing a newspaper could do is to publish claims made by politicians that are not true. The newspaper would be misinforming their readers and playing with fire like our friends Breitbart and Fox News have taken the mantle to do. Of course there is a school of thought in journalism to simply parrot a politician’s words without any context or fact checking, but ValleyVoice is luckily not one of them.

    The next time you find so many different newspapers as biased, you should consider the possibility that the politician they are reporting about is not telling the truth her/himself. When Devin Nunez is making public statements that 2+2=3, newspapers are rightly going to state his claim as false. Politicians DO NOT have any legal obligation to tell you the truth. They are sales people and you are an unfortunate victim of their pyramid scheme.

  2. Jerrold, Great Opinion. I wonder why Fox News is the Number One Cable News for the last 10 or 15 years and now Breitbart has more views than MSNBC. Americans like the truth and they like being American. CNN and most liberal news companies are Hate America First, they divide Americans any chance they get.

  3. Oh, Jeb… you poor soul.

    Being the most watched cable or internet “news” is not something to brag about. Just because something has the most views does not mean it is the most credible, factual, or even real. It just means it’s the most viewed, in other words, the most entertaining.

    Go ahead and tell me what you see are the most viewed youtube videos. Memes? Nude women? Cinnamon challenges? Despacito 2? I don’t know about you, but I would not be proud of watching the “news” equivalents of these attractions that gather the most eye balls.

    Do yourself a favor and enroll in journalism 101 or critical thinking at your local community college or adult school.

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