Tuesday, July 8, 2008

No news, so here is some bad press!

The Santa Barbara Independent has had excellent coverage of the Gap Fire, but I decided to look for more information elsewhere. A lot of shit went down with the Santa Barbara News-Press before we moved to town, but I thought I should given them one chance. Although the News-Press has an extensive online section for fire coverage, what happens when you actually try to read one of those articles?
This current article requires registration and login to view. You may also purchase the article without a general registration. Click here to proceed to the login, registration or article purchase page.

I emailed them to complain about the lack of free online information they had about the natural disaster in our backyard, and to be fair, I was a little sarcastic, concluding:
We have a wildfire in our backyard, and you can't manage to provide updates on your website? For free? To everyone?

It's 2008, and every other paper in the U.S. has managed to figure out how to put free content online. Get with the program.
To my surprise, I did get an email in response:
Dear website user.

Certain sections of the website currently require login (user needs to be a subscriber in order to access). Please note that a number of sections in the site are FREE of charge such as: News Video coverage on www.newspress.tv, AM1290 Radio station, Classifieds, Special Sections, USA Weekend, House & Home, Our Home, El Mexicano, Goleta Valley Voice, Smart Clips, Photo Galleries, etc, etc.

Okay, I love the "etc, etc." at the end. That is genius. But I was procrastinating, so I decided to email them back:
Thank you for your prompt response. I am very glad to know that the next time there is a natural disaster in Santa Barbara County, I will still be able to peruse the real estate listings in the News-Press. In the meantime, I will get my local news from the Santa Barbara Independent.

I'm very proud that I refrained from complaining about their webpage resizing my browser window. But why bother complaining when I'm never going back to the site again?

No comments: