May 15th 2024 Update

Fusterations Without A Clear Answer

First off I will take partial blame, yes I am so busy that I do not take the time nor have the energy to scan everything that is posted to FB to create a relevant news service. I personally handed out hundreds of copies of last week’s weekly at Raleys. Only a hand full of people were on social media and were glad to see what I am attempting to do with a physical printed edition.

Back to my frustration:

We had the honor of joining in the Siskiyou County Peace Officers Memorial Ceremony with Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office Siskiyou County Probation CAL FIRE Siskiyou Unit Yreka Police Department Mt…

While answering questions and responding to emails after returning home last night, I came across the post on Facebook above. Last week, I was asked if I had any information, but I did not, and neither did the person who asked me. There have been rumors, but no information has been shared or posted that we could find. I would have liked to report the event with others in the Siskiyou area. This has been a question that has been bothering me. “If you have paid information officers that are county employees that can post to social media is it really too much to ask that an email be sent, ya can even send a text message. A little FYI goes a long way.

I will repeat: “out of 300 publications handed out as advertising in Siskiyou County last week only a handful had any idea about Siskiyou News, secondly, almost everyone told me that they have turned off social media long time ago because it is not the place for News and information.”

The Siskiyou Information Struggle: When Government Agencies Favor Facebook Over Transparency

In the heart of Siskiyou County, a troubling trend has emerged: a widening gap between the public’s right to information and the government’s willingness to provide it openly. As a resident and concerned citizen, I’ve noticed an increasing reliance on Facebook by government agencies, while traditional avenues of communication languish.

Why is this a problem?

  • Taxpayer Dollars Funding Facebook Promotions: It’s disheartening to see our hard-earned tax dollars being funneled into paid Facebook promotions. While social media can be a useful tool, it shouldn’t be the primary (or only) channel for disseminating crucial information.
  • Information Officers Confined to Facebook: Equally concerning is the practice of government information officers exclusively posting updates on Facebook. This effectively excludes anyone who doesn’t use the platform,creating a significant barrier to access for many residents.
  • Transparency Takes a Backseat: Relying solely on Facebook for public communication raises serious transparency concerns. Not all information makes its way to social media, and important discussions can easily get buried in a sea of comments and unrelated posts.

Why Does This Matter for Siskiyou?

Siskiyou County faces unique challenges, from environmental concerns to economic development issues. Informed citizens are crucial for navigating these complexities, participating in local decision-making, and holding elected officials accountable. When government agencies prioritize Facebook over comprehensive communication strategies, our community suffers.

What Can We Do?

  1. Demand Transparency: Let our elected officials and government agencies know that we expect open, accessible communication that goes beyond social media.
  2. Support Local Journalism: Independent local news outlets are vital for holding power to account and providing a broader range of perspectives. Consider subscribing or donating to support their important work.
  3. Explore Alternative Channels: Look for alternative sources of information within the community, such as local newspapers, community radio stations, or public forums.
  4. Engage in Dialogue: Start conversations with your friends, neighbors, and elected officials about the importance of transparent communication in Siskiyou County.

The struggle for accessible news and information in Siskiyou is real, but it’s a fight worth having. By advocating for transparency and supporting diverse communication channels, we can build a more informed and engaged community.

submit information, articles, letter to any one that will listen? contact Siskiyou·News

Respectfully,
Jay A. Martin

Ps. Cal Fire Siskiyou Unit information officer Suzy Brady is so great to work with, I am kept in the loop. More than that, Suzy has no problems calling me to help get the word out on emergency situations and the what-knots of information, sponsoring public awareness, #CalFireSKU Business matters, and projects the agency doing around Siskiyou. 😉

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