Are ‘Local’ Newspapers a ‘trusted’ source of Information?

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Local Newspapers

Earlier this year, it came to my attention that our ‘local’ newspaper, is not the ‘local community‘ newspaper that it once was.

In trying to understand the new ‘slant’ of the news of our local paper, the Daily Journal: http://dailyjournalonline.com/  I found this disturbing information.

Buffett’s purchase of Lee.net was on the ‘down low‘ regarding his acquisition , however after SEC pressed Buffett, the story was released by Forbes in 2012:

Warren Buffett Discloses Positions in Lee Enterprises, Unwillingly

Warren Buffett’s investment company Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A)(BRK.B) disclosed its position of 1.6 million shares in Lee Enterprises (LEE). This position is worth $2.1 million as of March 31, 2012.

Berkshire intended to keep the position confidential initially. But the request of keeping this confidential was rejected by SEC. Berkshire disclosed this position yesterday.

Lee is a provider of local news, information and advertising in primarily midize markets, with 48 daily newspapers and a joint interest in four others. It owns nearly 300 specialty publications in 23 states. In the latest shareholder meeting, Buffett said that the local newspaper will do ok in the digital age. He also bought newspapers from Media General (MEG) lately. The stock of LEE closed yesterday at $1.15. It has lost 95% of its market value over the past 5 years. The stock is up more than 30% today.” http://www.forbes.com/sites/gurufocus/2012/06/06/warren-buffett-discloses-positions-in-lee-enterprises-unwillingly/

In the state of Missouri, it has been disclosed, Buffett owns many papers, including but not limited to:

MISSOURI

  • Park Hills: Farmington Press, Daily Journal Advantage, Daily Journal Weekly Real Estate”  http://lee.net/markets/

When one tries to verify the new publisher and the Daily Journal purchase, on their ‘About’ page there is no mention of the change of hands and no mention whatsoever of Warren Buffett:

About Us

“The Daily Journal has a long history as well as a few name changes.”  …  http://dailyjournalonline.com/about-us/

In 1961 President John F. Kennedy addressed the National Press Association, here is an excerpt of that speech:

…”Today no war has been declared–and however fierce the struggle may be, it may never be declared in the traditional fashion. Our way of life is under attack. Those who make themselves our enemy are advancing around the globe. The survival of our friends is in danger. And yet no war has been declared, no borders have been crossed by marching troops, no missiles have been fired.

If the press is awaiting a declaration of war before it imposes the self-discipline of combat conditions, then I can only say that no war ever posed a greater threat to our security. If you are awaiting a finding of “clear and present danger,” then I can only say that the danger has never been more clear and its presence has never been more imminent.

It requires a change in outlook, a change in tactics, a change in missions–by the government, by the people, by every businessman or labor leader, and by every newspaper. For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence–on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations.

Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed. It conducts the Cold War, in short, with a war-time discipline no democracy would ever hope or wish to match.”  John F. Kennedy Speeches – The President and the Press: Address before the American Newspaper Publishers Association, April 27, 1961

So one has to wonder, Daily Journal, why the secrecy?