Councilman Bill Quirk had some strong words about the Daily Review at last week’s City Council meeting, starting exactly at the one hour, three minute mark. Piggybacking on comments made by a public speaker who said she hadn’t seen much information in the paper about the gang injunction ordinance that was on the agenda, Quirk advised the room and television audience to seek information elsewhere:
“First of all, anyone who’s waiting for the Daily Review to tell you what’s happening, that was 10 years ago. Do ask the City Clerk to send you our agendas regularly. They just come and you dont have to look if you don’t want to but she sends them out by email regularly.
“Second, start reading the Tri-City Voice. Simon Wong is back there, he’s there at all our meetings and he does a good job. So please start reading the Tri City Voice. Simon, put up your hand, there. Just to let us know. Ok. He’s here at every meeting. The Daily Review is not here.”
At this point, Mayor Mike Sweeney interrupted Quirk: “Actually, they are here.”
“Oh they are here. Oh good!” Quirk said. “Eric, good to see you. Good to see you.”
Sweeney: “And Eric, that was Bill Quirk. By the way.”
Quirk: “Well, it’s not Eric’s fault, the problem is they won’t give him the column inches to ah, to ah, report that he would like to have and he has to cover the whole city which used to be covered by like four reporters. So it’s not his fault but it’s just — we don’t have the coverage we used to have.”
This was not particularly fair. Especially given the fact that the Daily Review did, in fact, run a preview story for the meeting, including info that the gang injunction ordinance and W. Winton widening were on the agenda. It ran across the top of the local front. I’m not saying we have a preview story for every council meeting, but we did for this one, and we had one for the noise ordinance meeting and one for the Residential Energy Conservation Matter at committee level. And we covered what happened at all those meetings.
That’s definitely more information than what appeared in the Voice. I did an audit of that paper, and failed to see the coverage Quirk was talking about. I realize it would be hard to convince anyone that I’m unbiased on the matter, so go take a look for yourself. I spoke with Quirk on Thursday to find out if I’m missing something, and he pointed out that the Voice has “admittedly short” summaries of all Council actions.
But a check of Hayward stories, even those specific to city matters and not schools and crime and courts, shows the Review still has much more material. I told Quirk that while it may be valid to point out that the staffing level at the Review is not what it was 10 years ago and coverage may be suffering by comparison as a result, it’s not fair to herald coverage in another publication when that coverage doesn’t exist.
Quirk agreed that what he said was unfair, and told me he would have a retraction during public comments at the next meeting.
Hunh. I suppose that means I ought to show up.