Letter from the Editor #1

by Richard Elsom, Editor in Chief
Originally published 1994, in the Weekly Synthesis Issue

Welcome to the Weekly Synthesis. With this issue we launch a risky adventure in grassroots journalism. This free weekly will give you access to what’s happening in Chico. Not only will you find good things to read and do, but you will also find inside a place for your writing. What do you care about? What do you want to tell people in Chico? Let’s use this paper to talk about the things of importance to us. Join us!

As the weeks and years go on this paper will evolve. I’m not satisfied with the first edition. There are many things I wish we had had the equipment and help to do better, but I’m proud of the product we’ve put together and know we learned a lot in the process. It will get even better.

This is our first issue, therefore I will break most of my rules. As opinion page editor for the late Butte College Roadrunner for three semesters, I book-learned the way to write an editorial: one subject; one side of the argument only; persuasive and competing. But this is different. I’m giving birth to an idea fertilized in 1984 when I moved here and actively gestating since I became politically active in ’86. Eight years is a long time and I hope the labor will last longer.

Make no mistake, this weekly is a partnership. Not just within the organization, but with all of you! We’re a team, you and I. The staff, no matter how large, can not be everywhere, all the time; we need you!

Did you attend a lecture, speech, rally, movie, concert, (etc) this week? Write and tell us about it. If this loose, co-op network can produce good coverage, we succeed. If not, this paper will appear a hollow shell of what it could be, but what the hell, it’ll still be better than any other newspaper in town!

We have many issues in this town to discuss. Let’s get off our asses and write about them! This paper will be home delivered to a large area around downtown, the university, and Chico High. Not only that, but instead of sitting in our offices and waiting for you to call us with your story or event, we will have outreach efforts with investigative reporters going out to seek out information and calendar items! Do you know of an event that could use some publicity?

Everyone in Chico has something to say. We may even do a “spill your guts to Chico” column using a phone line, if you don’t want to write it…

You will notice, no doubt, an emphasis on music and entertainment in the first couple of issues. That’s not because of a Iack of interest in other areas, only that we wanted to do a few things well, instead of many things half-assed. This town already has a music scene that continues to amaze me in its scope. The only missing element is a weekly vehicle to promote shows and bands. I will be happy if we do that well, and in the process help turn out the crowds to great shows.

As a member of the general plan task force, you can count on much more coverage of the “blueprint for growth in Chico” than currently exists, and as a “downtowner,” you will be reading about the problems that face, and the suc- cesses that grace the heart of this community.

This paper won’t be sugar coating shit. If it smells bad to us it might smell bad to you. Why air out the room before we invite you in? There’s a lot of anger in this community, especially among the young and poor. We can’t hide our collective heads in the sand anymore!

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