Independent Media Week: Bring it on

It isn't often that competing businesses cheer for one another in this capitalistic society. But when it comes to free speech, the Tidings readily stands and applauds the efforts of local residents who offer their valuable time and talents to the task of bringing information to the masses. During this Independent Media Week, we salute those who seek to shore up holes they see in the free flow of information in our community and others.

No industry operates best under the shadow of a single monolithic giant. No industry is better off being monopolized. The media industry is no exception.

Indeed, one of the largest transitions in the history of our industry is currently taking place, as new technologies afford new opportunities to engage the public and invite it into the process of news gathering and dissemination. The Tidings welcomes this change and invites Ashland residents to participate in providing valuable information through the various media channels as well as getting involved in spirited discussions which can serve as lively exchanges of information among community members.

Ashland is a vibrant city that shines as the jewel of Southern Oregon. In addition to its top-notch theater entertainment, music scene, education institutions, parks, restaurants and diverse scenic beauty, the city also boasts a wide variety of media outlets. Aside from the city's award-winning newspaper, alternative weekly papers are available that cater to particular interests, including a student-run publication at SOU. The local radio station, Jefferson Public Radio, provides news and information and is joined by the brand new KSKQ community radio broadcast. Locals can even learn television broadcasting and get involved directly in journalistic or entertainment endeavors through Rogue Valley Television (RVTV) which offers a very affordable opportunity for anyone to create their own TV program, news or otherwise, and have it broadcast throughout the Rogue Valley.

Few small towns like Ashland can boast the many varieties of media that exist here. Residents routinely maintain a constant buzz on the Tidings' Web site, discussing many of the issues impacting the city and its residents. But, this week we give an ovation to the unsung independent media, which participates in the spread of relevant information and news throughout our community. These information outlets provide valuable resources for the proliferation of free speech.

In a nation where business and politics can be cutthroat industries, we believe the media &

"mainstream" and independent &

both serve the citizenry in different ways. It is therefore incumbent upon all of us in this important industry to maintain a focus on safeguarding the freedoms we hold dear and work together to protect the public's access to information and its right to know what's going on.

We, at the Tidings, will hold up our end of that responsibility &

and we welcome all who are willing to bear the burdens inherent in supporting a viable independent media industry to join with us.

Together, we can ensure the whole community is served and benefits from a free flow of information.

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