The cities and suburbs on the eastern side of San Francisco Bay are home to 2.7 million people, a world-class University of California campus and bedroom communities for Silicon Valley that produce median incomes 50 percent higher than the national average.
What they no longer have is a thriving landscape of local daily newspapers.
Gone is the Oakland Tribune, the Contra Costa Times, The Daily Review of Hayward, The Argus of Fremont and the Tri-Valley Herald, among others. All had tens of thousands of readers during their heyday and served communities populous enough to be among the largest cities in many other states.Steve Lopez at LAT:
Ownership changes and consolidations have left the region known as the East Bay with just a single daily newspaper. The East Bay Times, based in Walnut Creek, attempts to cover a region nearly the size of Delaware with a fraction of the staff of the former dailies.
It’s sad to note that two more newspapers in California have ended their run, as reported by my colleague Brittny Mejia. Sierra County’s Mountain Messenger, once published by Mark Twain, and the Martinez News-Gazette, which I used to read daily, are going out of business.
Those losses — the silencing of voices — are blows to the community and to the mission of keeping the bastards honest.
No newspaper operates without blind spots and deficiencies, but there is no bigger news operation west of the Hudson than the Los Angeles Times, and no greater source of accountability journalism in California.