The Newark New Jersey city council has
awarded a $100,000 US no-bid contract
to the Newark Weekly News in exchange for the paper only printing positive stories about the city.
The idea was pitched to council by Howard Scott, who owns the paper. Council, in a decision that I’m sure comes as a surprise to just about no one, unanimously approved the proposal in a vote that took place in October.
The Weekly News is now working in conjunction with the city’s public information office on the project, and under the terms of the agreement, can only accept story leads that come directly from either the city council or mayor’s office.
According to Scott, the citizens of Newark have no problem with this set-up whatsoever.
“Do we have critical reporters on staff? No,” Scott said when asked for comment. “Do we have investigative reporters? No. “Our niche is the good stuff. People have come to know it, and they love it.”
Either that or they’re just trying to make the best of the realization that whether they like it or not, whether they ever read a single edition of this thing, they’re still paying for it, a fact which Scott conveniently forgets to mention here.
Another thing he fails to address is how the Newark Weekly News can still in good faith call itself a newspaper. Given the circumstances that currently allow it to exist, wouldn’t it be more appropriate to classify it as either campaign literature or state-funded propaganda material? That’s exactly what it is, and how anybody could possibly see it as anything other than that given the facts presented here is simply mind boggling.
But I suppose that this shouldn’t come as that much of a shock or surprise considering the state of TV and print news in America and parts of Canada today. Every outlet has its own agenda, and I guess the arival of localized “everything doesn’t suck as bad as it seems like it does” news coverage is just the next logical step.