CVIndependent

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Editor's Note

29 Aug 2017
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It’s been an eventful month for me and the Coachella Valley Independent. Here are some notes and thoughts. • I was fortunate enough to attend the Association of Alternative Newsmedia’s annual conference in Washington, D.C. It was a wonderful gathering of motivated independent journalists from around North America. Make no mistake: Some (but not all) independent local newspapers are struggling. However, those of us in the industry are working on finding new ways to bring readers the news they need—and coming up with innovative ways to pay for it. Some alternative newspapers—from Boston to Little Rock to Santa Fe to Baltimore—are starting nonprofits, opening doors to grants and other journalism-funding sources. Others are using new technologies to tell their communities’ stories in fascinating new ways. It was truly exciting to see the energy and excitement displayed by so many editors, writers and publishers. Oh, and one more tidbit from the…
01 Aug 2017
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Let’s face it: August is not the best month for business in the Coachella Valley. If there’s onetime during the year that a restaurant will be closed, it’s probably going to be in August. August is the most popular month for us locals to take vacations—in part because the weather is scorching, and it’s already been scorching for several months, and we’re tired of it. However, most of us are still here in August. Therefore, news and arts and foodie stuff still happens—and that’s why those of us here at the Independent don’t take the month off, and instead keep working as hard as we always do. Still … August is not the best month for business in the Coachella Valley, and that goes for us here at the Independent, too. That’s why we have decided to hold our first-ever Supporters of the Independent membership drive this month—and while doing…
27 Jun 2017
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It’s a question I often get asked by people who are unfamiliar with the Coachella Valley Independent: “What sets your newspaper apart from the other local publications out there?” After briefly mentioning the history of the alternative press (and explaining how the Independent fits into that history), I answer by suggesting what I call, somewhat jokingly, the “Independent Challenge”: “Take five minutes, and thumb through the Independent. Look at the articles, the design, the breadth of coverage, and the quality of the reporting and writing. Then, do the same with any other local publication. You’ll understand the difference right away.” Yes, I am proud of what we accomplish every day at CVIndependent.com—and I am also proud to announce that for the second time, the Independent is receiving a national journalism award. The Independent has been named a finalist in the 2017 Association of Alternative Newsmedia (AAN) Awards, this time in…
26 May 2017
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We are living in unprecedented times, as far as national politics is concerned. This thought kept coming to mind as I read the latest installment of Democracy in Crisis published by the Independent. Writer Baynard Woods, simply and briefly, lays out 13 anecdotes that show how authoritarianism is on the rise in our country. Reporters arrested. Protesters arrested. Conflicts of interest being flouted and going unchecked. Sigh. However, there’s at least one silver lining I’m finding in all the chaos: It’s clear that great journalism is alive and well in the United States. Some of the reporting we’ve seen from The New York Times and the Washington Post, just for starters, has been amazing. In recent weeks, these papers exposed the fact that our president apparently revealed classified information to the Russians—jeopardizing, at the very least, relationships with countries with whom we partner on intelligence. They reported that our president…
27 Apr 2017
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One of the biggest issues of the Palm Springs city election back in 2015 was the ever-increasing amount of homelessness in downtown Palm Springs. While I think the Palm Springs City Council has done an admirable job, more or less, since that November 2015 election, the City Council has done a flat-out awful job of addressing homelessness. Make sure you read Brian Blueskye’s excellent piece on the state of the homelessness problem in the Coachella Valley. As Brian notes, the problem is getting worse—especially on the west side of the valley—and it’s going to become a full-blown crisis when Roy’s Resource Center, the only west side shelter for the homeless, closes its doors at the end of June. That means 90 people are going to lose their only shelter—in the midst of the summer heat. In other news: I also recommend you read Baynard Woods’ recent “Democracy in Crisis” dispatch.…
30 Mar 2017
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A few weeks back, a fantastic discussion ignited in one of the alternative-newsmedia e-mail groups to which I belong. The topic was readership campaigns—advertising campaigns by newspapers to promote themselves to their own readers. Some of the slogans being used in these campaigns are brilliant—especially the ones created by our friends at The Austin Chronicle in Texas. You need us. We need you. Support free press. Read us, follow us, advertise with us. No news is bad news. We need each other. Truth is truth. Whether you like them or not, facts aren’t fake. We report the news at no cost to you, and no matter the cost to us. We here at the Independent will be, uh, “borrowing” some of these ideas (with The Austin Chronicle’s blessing, of course). These truly are unprecedented times in which we’re living. The attacks on the press by the Trump administration are simply…

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