First of all, as a disclaimer of sorts, I’m not really sure what’s been going on at The Northside Journal, a paper that ostensibly services North Rapides Parish and the City of Pineville. When it launched over a year ago, it seemed as if the website was meant to complement a published paper. The website even informs readers about where to pick up an actual “copy” of The Northside Journal. The paper and its website were regularly updated for a few months, but things suddenly slowed down. The Northside Journal appeared to have gone on hiatus. Then, months later, during the governor’s race, Chad Rogers at The Dead Pelican began linking to “new” Northside Journal editorials written by editor-in-chief Neil Kavanagh.
Kavanagh’s editorials are filled with partisan righteousness. He is quick to interject whenever a Republican is in trouble, and he can be a rabid, if not reckless, defender of the Republican party and its politicians. And, of course, Mr. Kavanagh has every right to express his opinions. Most recently, he implied that Hank Perret is somehow behind the Hannah Montana controversy. (H/t to CentralLaPolitics)
The scandal is in WAFB’s reporter Jim Shannon and why the opponents of the Governor’s ethics plan chose him to spin this story to.
Apparently they know that Shannon is too green to check his sources thoroughly, or that Shannon has his own agenda best served by attacking the Governor, through Teeple.
I guess Shannon and his bosses value a four tenths of a point bump in the evening ratings over the truth.
This whole sleazy bit of gossip mongering doesn’t qualify as news and it seems to have Ethics Board Chairman Hank Perret’s fingerprints all over it. Perhaps a little political pay-back for being passed over for Executive Council?
These would be serious accusations in a newspaper’s editorial. But is The Northside Journal a newspaper, or has it simply become Neil Kavanagh’s personal blog? Here’s how the website describes the “paper” (bold mine):
We are a local, community newspaper published on the north side of the Red River. Yes, we’re new but you already know us. You’ll see us at the ballpark, the grocery store, and at church on Sundays. We’re the other moms in your child’s classroom, your fishing buddy, your neighbors. We’re The Northside Journal. We’re a weekly, we publish every Wednesday.
On the Editorial & Opinions page you’ll find our “Backtalk” feature where you get a chance to let off some steam, and if your voice needs a little more space, write us letter. As long as it’s in good taste, we’ll let the rest of our community know what you think.
The Community News page will carry the “news from your neighborhood.” We want to know who got engaged, who has an exchange student staying with them, and who has a bumper crop of backyard tomatoes this year. Let us know about what you want to see and we’ll get it to print.
Turn to the Local Sports page and you’ll find news from Grant, Pineville, Buckeye and Tioga High Schools.
We’ll focus on a different high school each week and let you know the results of Friday night’s game. We’ll also cover team sports from Ward 9, Ward 10, Prospect, and Pollock.
Most parents want to take an active part in their child’s school, but sometimes junior forgets to give Mom the note he has buried in his backpack. If you want to keep up with the field trips, award days, and lunch this week, you’ll find that information on our School News page.
Have something to sell? Looking for a new job? Our Classified page is the place to look first. Cars, trucks, boats, guns, garage sales, employment…it’s all there.
Ben Franklin once said, “…the comings and goings in a man’s backyard are those events most dear to his heart.” The Northside Journal is here to tell you of those events, and help bring our community together with news from your neighborhood.
Now, perhaps they’re still regularly publishing a newspaper (a weekly, mind you), but the bulk of their website hasn’t been updated in months, with the exception of an occasional editorial (which do not seem to be on any type of schedule).
They do not have a sports section online or even a community news section. There aren’t classifieds either, and the forum doesn’t work. The only real content on the website is the editorial section.
So again, the question is: What exactly is The Northside Journal? Because apparently some people believe it to be a “weekly community newspaper.” (And with that belief, the understanding that its opinions are, in some measure, a reflection of the community it services).