Thursday, October 9, 2008
Tip O’Neill had it right, as usual: All politics is local.
We at the Weekly have had a chance to observe the truth of his observation firsthand in recent weeks as a flotilla of candidates who want to be elected to positions of public influence has arrived at our doorstep, explaining their positions on the issues that affect Monterey County.
It has been enlightening (and sometimes entertaining) to watch the civic apparatchiks go at each other.
Whatever you think of their positions and the Weekly will be announcing its endorsements shortly, one can’t help but admire the passion and commitment the office-seekers bring to the pursuit.
It’s a passion reciprocated by the staff of this paper, which works every week to bring you informed, if frequently irreverent, windows on the world of the county and beyond, from politics to pop culture, food to fashion.
As Weekly Founder and CEO Bradley Zeve and Publisher Erik Cushman address in separate but complementary pieces in this week’s 20th anniversary issue, the goal of this paper has always been to keep faith with its mission statement: “To inspire independent thinking and conscious action, etc.’’
THE WAY THIS PAPER PRACTICES JOURNALISM HAS SOMETIMES RUFFLED FEATHERS. THAT WAS ON PURPOSE.
It’s no secret that the way in which this paper practices journalism has sometimes ruffled feathers. That was on purpose.
These battles have ranged from defending our right to print the ingredients of a pheromone product sprayed over Monterey County to combat the light brown apple moth, to serving as a consistent voice for smart, sustainable land use.
The alternative press originally came about as a direct challenge to the clichés and conventional wisdom of mainstream media and the politics of the time.
Today, there are new times, new challenges– and, as we head into the November elections– perhaps even new politics.
Thankfully, compared to what’s going on in the rest of the print journalism business, and despite the current national economic woes, the Weekly remains in good health.
But our continued editorial relevance requires staying independent and imaginative, in print and online, while preserving the best of the journalistic traditions that have served us well in the past.
In the present, I’d like to take just a moment to thank the dedicated team of editorial staffers who put out the not-inconsiderable product you see every week.
Our savvy News Editor Jessica Lyons regularly covers the political scene with insight, intelligence and grace under pressure. Deputy Editor Mark (“Iron Man’’) C. Anderson handles everything from the inspired madness of “831’’ to the thriving local foodie scene. (In his spare time, he helps make sure we get the paper out every week.)
Staff writer Kera Abraham shines a light on the environmental issues so critical to our future, in Monterey County and beyond. Stuart Thornton keeps us updated on the local music scene, from the folkies of Big Sur to thrashers in Monterey and Salinas. Zachary Stahl’s reports keep us informed of everything from questionable development deals to unsafe agricultural practices. The imperturbable Walter (“Doc’’) Ryce handles the calendar and helps us keep abreast of the lively local arts scene. Staff photographer (and terpsichorean) Nic Coury shoots the evocative pictures that bring the stories to life each week.
And a rotating staff of dedicated interns– the current group includes Sonya Lauster, Qres Ephraim, Lucas Handy and Sarah Kenoyer– help out immeasurably.
Last, but certainly not least, the paper’s tireless, talented Art Director/Production Manager Karen Loutzenheiser comes up with the cool covers and handsome inside design displays that make us look good every week, ably abetted by her partner in crime, Lead Designer Brandl Tucker and their hardworking production team: Kevin Jewell, Adam Joseph, Gretchen Miller and Julie Scheer. (DJs Kevin and Adam, in particular, bear the responsibility– or, some say, the blame– for the pumping sounds that keep the rest of us awake after the pizza rush has come and gone and we close the paper late Tuesday nights.)
Obviously, none of this would be possible without the 24/7 vision and enthusiasm of Weekly Founder and CEO Bradley Zeve or of Publisher Erik Cushman, who keeps the rest of us grounded– and is no slouch of a newspaperman himself.
It’s a Confucian curse but an unavoidable one: We live in interesting times.
Being part of the team that works together to put out the best possible product for you, our readers, is a unique privilege. That process reminds us, daily, of why we got into the business in the first place.
Besides, as they say, it beats working.