Last week, the San Jose City Council voted to demolish the old library building. Did you read about it in the paper? Neither did I. Where will the city move all of the city employees who work in the building? How much will it all cost? This is a story that should have received coverage.
I have long held the opinion that the San Jose Mercury News is out of touch with its readership, particularly the people of San Jose. In an effort to help the Mercury News strengthen its ties with the people of San Jose, I would recommend the following changes:
DEDICATE MORE COVERAGE TO THE ACTIONS OF CITY GOVERNMENT
Every week, the Mercury News should offer a full report on the decisions made by the San Jose City Council. Select the three or four agenda items that receive the most attention during the council meeting and then write up a brief report on the debate and the final decision, complete with a listing of how each councilmember voted.
The paper should also provide more commentary and interviews from city council members, city officials, and neighborhood leaders on a continual basis.
ADJUST THE PAPER’S FRAME OF REFERENCE
Shouldn’t the Mercury News have at least one person on its editorial board who holds views that are right of center? Over the past decade, has the Mercury News had even one columnist or editorial board member who voted Republican or Libertarian? Of course, the paper often runs columns written by conservatives, but George Will doesn’t live in San Jose. Maybe, just maybe, a conservative point of view could offer some perspective and relevance to a city concern.
ADD A “CITY WATCH” FEATURE
The San Francisco Chronicle has a regular feature called “Chronicle Watch.” The feature invites readers to call or write in with complaints and requests that need to be brought to the attention of city and county officials. The Chronicle publishes the name, photo, and contact information of the government worker who is responsible for the item or action in question and provides continued follow up until the issue is resolved. A San Jose specific “City Watch” column would help get things done and keep city officials on their toes.
BRING BACK BUD GERACIE’S “WAKE OF THE WEEK”
Bud Geracie’s “Wake of the Week” was one of the sports pages’ best features. For some reason, they canned it. Bring it back!
What advice do our readers have for the Mercury News?