RENewsletter | February 26, 2012


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“Our Environment is changing: Keep up with the Change.”

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[02/19/2012 – 02/26/2012]


* Got news? | Go to my blog: Environmental Thoughts - Rochester, NY or Tweet me @!/FrankRrrr   On Twitter and Facebook and Examiner/RochesterEnvironment, I post local environmental events, news, and commentary as soon as it happens.  If you think this newsletter, which continually informs our community on our local environmental news, events, actions, is worthwhile, please encourage others to sign up.  We need to Occupy the Rochester media to change how the public views environmental news.


The great conundrum of our times is that in a time of rapidly occurring Climate Change and a rapid disintegration of the environment that we need to thrive and survive, mainstream media still marginalizes environmental concerns. [Check often for this continually updated list on the possible consequences of Climate Change in our region--supported by facts.] If there isn’t a quick and substantial change in how environmental concerns are reported, edited, and chosen in mainstream media, the public will continue to believe that environmental concerns are merely special interest matters, issues they can avoid if they choose.  How can we inform the public and monitor our environment without abridging our Freedoms--in enough time to safe ourselves?


Anything else you're interested in is not going to happen if you can't breathe the air and drink the water. Don't sit this one out. Do something. You are by accident of fate alive at an absolutely critical moment in the history of our planet. -- Carl Sagan


Opening Salvo | NewsLinks | Daily Updates | Events | Environmental Site of the Month | Take Action |



[Hyperlinks work by CTRL + click to follow a link]




Opening Salvo:  “Impacts of a major media in Rochester, NY moving behind a pay wall”


It’s seems so obvious to the public that businesses need to make a profit that we rarely question it—if ever.   So, as our major newspaper in Rochester, NY ducks behind a pay wall and limits readers of local news to paid subscribers, we think little of it.  But this move by the Democrat and Chronicle could be a major game changer for the dissemination of important news for the Rochester region. 


Gannett to introduce new subscription model CEO Gracia Martore, speaking at the company’s first investors’ day event in New York City, said the new model should boost revenue by $100 million a year starting in 2013. For the first time, some consumers of Gannett websites will pay for access once they reach a threshold of usage. “We will begin to restrict some access to non-subscribers,” Bob Dickey, head of community publishing for Gannett, told Forbes magazine. Users will be able to read from five to 15 articles for free each month, depending on the newspaper website, he said. (February 22, 2012) Democrat and Chronicle


Requiring folks to pay for local news that was previously free will limit our ability to have an informed citizenry.  Without an informed public we don’t have a Democracy.  Without an informed public we cannot act rationally on issues threatening our way of life, like Climate Change. 


It’s not as if the Democrat and Chronicle is the only way our public can get local news.  There are other local media, but few newspapers in a town that used to have a thriving competitive print media.  But things have changed.  The economy has changed. The media has changed.  Many already strapped for cash will opt out of reading a local news source with potential critical information about what is going on around them.

Rochester, NY’s Democrat and Chronicle is one of the few print media sources remaining in our area with the resources to investigate and report on long-standing issues like our environment.   Some issues like Climate Change cannot be absorbed in entertaining sound bites on TV and radio. This must be understood in the context of the present media crisis, which has left the public gorged with useless information and starved for good information.  See Robert McChesney and John Nichols’ on "The Death and Life of American Journalism: The Media Revolution that Will Begin the World Again" for a great overview.


Although aggregators of news stories—blogs, social media, and other sites that link to original content—probably drive media nuts, it is critical in our times to connect the dots to important news when so much information is moleculing about.  The reason is that we need to find a sense of priorities in a time of Climate Change.  If important news goes off-line to many citizens, we lose those critical threads.  You can live not knowing which sports team is ahead, but you cannot thrive on a planet that is continually warming.  Until we find our footing and come up with a way to report on critical matters in such a way that everyone can access, pay walls will thwart that objective.


In their book, McCheseny and Nichols come up with many pay models for media starving for cash.  The US Post Office, they point out, gave all newspapers a tax break so various points of view could disseminate throughout our nascent country.  There are ways.


At present we are saddled with an insane media paradigm where the rich can communicate with everyone, but those with important information cannot even reach the rich or the poor. 


That’s not good for New York State and Rochester. With Climate Change will come many Likely Changes that we must adapt to.  In order to do that, we need a public who understands this issue, and that means more access to the news, not less.  (Click on my email for feedback)




NewsLinksEnvironmental NewsLinks – [Highlights of major environmental stories concerning our area from the past week]




UpdatesDaily Updates – [Connecting the dots on Rochester’s environment. Find out what’s going on environmentally in our area—and why you should care? Clicking on -DISCUSSION – will take you to my blog “Environmental Thoughts, NY, where you can add your comments.]





EventsRochester Environmental Events Calendar – [The most complete listing of all environmental events around the Rochester, New York area.]  If you don’t see your event, or know of a local environmental event, please send me the info: with (EV event) in the subject line. Also, be sure to check other calendars and environmental series for multi-day events.


February 2012



March 2012



April 2012






ActionTake Action - Often, I receive request to pass on alerts, petitions, Public Comments on local developments, and environmental items needing action by the Rochester Community and around the world. I’ll keep Actions posted until their due date. 





AwardEnvironmental Site of the Month Award – [On the last Sunday of each month, we present an environmental award for the Rochester-area environmental web site or blog that best promotes the need to protect and offers solutions for our area's environmental issues.]