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Creating community: the role of the media

Original post made by Hal Bailey on Feb 14, 2008

Dear neighbors,

In previous discussions of the role of media in the creation of community, the subject was confused by considerations of government formation. In reality, no formation can be pursued until a community is established simply because there is nothing to tie residents together in common needs and in-common culture.

In the Diablo Vista (Alamo) Region, there is a collection of neighborhoods with many being their own community. There is a minority of Alamo organizational leaders, participants and supporters that consider themselves the Alamo Community.

The discussions now occurring among Diablo Vista Region neighbors are how community can be created as a in-common culture and what role media plays in the reporting of such an emerging community.

With the subject defined, what are your thoughts?

Hal Bailey
CIRCA Distribution Services Institute (CDSI)
CDSI Research Fellowship

Comments (11)

Posted by Keith Lewis, a resident of another community
on Feb 14, 2008 at 8:44 am

Posted at the request of the author

Dear neighbors,

It will be difficult for any editor or reporter to provide stories of community in the Diablo Vista (Alamo) Region. Issues within our region divide neighborhoods from local organizations and continue to grow in intensity. The root causes of such divisions are communication and the lack of it.

Our editors and reporters have nothing to report but the actions of minority factions in our region. An excellent example is Supervisor Piepho's reliance on the Alamo Community Council for guidance in traffic management in our business district. For those of us who have attended these council meetings, we know that the same 10 or less individuals that are part of the AIA, AIM, and county agencies are the attendees and are significantly disconnected from the majority of neighbors in our region.

Editors and reporters need majority resources before any concept of community can be reported. Isn't this forum becoming our majority reporting?


Posted from

Posted by Vic Vincente, a resident of another community
on Feb 14, 2008 at 10:07 am

Posted by request of the author

Dear neighbors,

As a major news media researcher and reporter, I will not excuse media from researching the stories they report. People and Event Stories may be readable but the quality of the story is in the depth of reporting provided. Editors and reporters need to study the issues of the events they report and provide clear, concise understanding of the event's impact on a community and its residents.

Media has a primary role in building community and should be the many voices of community culture.

Victor Vincente
Alamo TX - Austin TX

Posted from

Posted by Cara Hensley, a resident of another community
on Feb 15, 2008 at 2:10 pm

Dear neighbors,

As a new resident in the Diablo Vista (Alamo) Region, I have appreciated how my neighbors immediately reached out to my family and welcomed us. In particular, my parents' home needed various things fixed and neighbors either help me do the repairs or provided excellent repair references.

Such a sense of neighborhood simply makes my family's move very enjoyable. As I venture down the hill to the Iron Horse Trail, my walks have produced many warm greetings from other walkers, several conversations on the benches along the way, and more neighbors to get to know.

In my view, we are a collection of neighborhoods along the Iron Horse Trail with community among neighbors and neighborhood-to-neighborhood. I hope to find the same community among all the neighborhoods of our region.

Thanks neighbors,


Posted from at the author's request

Posted by Dan Bauer, a resident of another community
on Feb 16, 2008 at 8:14 am

Posted at request of the author

Dear neighbors,

It seems we have made our points about creating community. We agree that our region has neighborhoods that are communities in themselves with many neighborhood-to-neighborhood links. We agree we need to be resources for issues in our region so editors and reporters can provide more in-depth reporting. We realize a minor faction within our region is attempting to legislate community by forming an Alamo city government.

We should realize at this critical time for our region that our communication among all neighborhoods and organizations in the Diablo Vista region has been unsuccessful. We need to define why.

What are your thoughts?


Posted from

Posted by Hal Bailey, a resident of another community
on Feb 19, 2008 at 5:35 pm

Dear neighbors,

At coffee today, regional neighbors were considering how our knowledge of our region has increased as The Danville Weekly increased coverage of events, people and issues in our region. We quickly understood the privacy of our neighbors as a barrier to more stories and more reporting by The Danville Weekly, but we all stopped just to say thank you to all at The Danville Weekly.

Issues and their background are neighbors' responsibility to bring to editors and reporters. Then we can expect in-depth research and reporting to better inform us on each issue.

Thus, we created our own issue, "How do we serve those that serve us with information?"

Your thoughts?


Posted to

Posted by Janice Madison, a resident of Walnut Creek
on Feb 21, 2008 at 9:21 am

Posted at the request of the author

Dear neighbors,

AS we read the Contra Costa Times announcements of staff reductions and lay-offs, we can realize that we will be getting less local news from involved reporters and editors. We will likely return to published releases by local/regional governments that contain no news content or purposely misrepresent the reality of government actions.

We are all at risk of being deceived by the lack of good reporters and the willing lies by politicians.

Upper Tice Valley neighborhoods

Posted from

Posted by Kathy Bell, a resident of another community
on Feb 22, 2008 at 8:29 am

Posted by request of the author

Dear neighbors,

As we read this week's edition of The Danville Weekly on-line, we see the potential for media to have a very strong role in community creation and communication. Danville Blvd was considered by a contrived council created by county government and without real proposal to eliminate the danger. Guy Houston announced retaliation against Berkeley rather than consideration and communication. SRVUSD and parents blindly claim a parcel tax is a "no brainer" much like Alamo incorporation is a "no brainer."

Excellent reporting and editing of real community-based news is occurring and Iron Horse neighbors are privately considering the subjects as presented. It is community and news is it catalyst.

Kathy Bell
Iron Horse neighbors, Diablo Vista Region

Posted from

Posted by Susan West, a resident of another community
on Feb 26, 2008 at 7:24 am

Posted by request of the author

Dear neighbors,

Our county once again is putting a lid on information and documentation including reducing the releases of information about supervisors' actions. With three supervisors facing campaigns where the majority of voters are looking for alternatives, CCC-BOS is attempting to restrict any and all information that could impact campaigns. Two supervisors not running for re-election are trying to keep recall campaigns from being part of the November elections.

Such restriction of information should be enough reason to consider alternative candidates, DRAFTED if necessary, so that our county government is OUR county government.

Iron Horse neighbors
Diablo Vista region

Posted from

Posted by Keith Lewis, a resident of another community
on Feb 27, 2008 at 11:29 am

Posted at request of the author

Susan and others are asking for more information from our governments. That means more in-depth, timely reporting that focuses on priority issues in our region. As you look at on-line news pages and printed front pages, neighbors should ask if we are receiving the coverage we require.

Iron Horse neighbors

Posted by Hal Bailey, a resident of another community
on Mar 1, 2008 at 7:10 pm

Dear neighbors,

My neighbor asked today what is going on in our region, and "what's the status of incorporation?"

Like many more, this question presents an issue of reporting that is complicated by a broadly-based desire to be confidential.

It remains a secret, everything,


Posted by Beverly Westin, a resident of another community
on Mar 2, 2008 at 8:47 am

Dear neighbors,

We moved to this region last spring at the start of the AIM incorporation efforts. Our new neighbors talked at length about formation investigations by neighborhoods in Alamo over several years leading to a conclusion that formation of any allowed form of additional government would not enhance neighborhoods' role in local planning.

I have looked to all media in our region for presentation of formation options and detailed analysis of the impact on our neighborhoods and region. None has been offered by any media, proponents, opponents or governments. My only resources for understanding came from neighbors' collections of research resources and expert summary by resident municipal law counsel.

In my view, newspapers are losing market because they do not deliver events, issues and analysis in their reporting as demanded by their readers. Certainly, the talented writers are available but the content is missing.

Do you agree?

Bev Westin
Iron Horse neighbors

Posted from with permission of the author

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