Meeting Westchester’s Challenges, Pertinence, and Relevance with Facts and Respect
Yes, it’s true. Some will be perturbed. Some will lose their last meal upon reading this revelation made privy to very few before this official telling. indulge me remembering our past, present, and focus on the future. You may be surprised that the marriage is prudent, logical, and worthy of you, the voracious reader demanding to know.
It all began when the Yonkers Tribune took its first breath ten years ago. It was a concept built about emulating successful publishers from throughout the many corners of the world. The vision was to inculcate the best the world had to offer from the many newspaper titles well known even the esoteric titles few know. The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Times, Les Echos, Berliner Morgenpost, Le Monde, The Jerusalem Post, The Washington Post, The Globe & Mail; you get the idea. I was not prepared for what would come to pass. Times had changed. Acid-tongued bloggers were now in the mix.
The Yonkers Tribune was given birth on the Internet. Its purpose was to disseminate news, as devoid as humanly possible free of an agenda. It survived and flourishes doing just that but the publisher / editor was not in charge; the acid-tongued bloggers were. It was they that fed on every news story that would make the front page. They judged it for readability, for grammar, for spelling errors, for facts, for demeanor, what have you, the acid-tongued bloggers were the most insistent task masters about. They were unrelenting; coaxing, cajoling, demanding, threatening, suggesting, appeasing, challenging, admonishing, ridiculing. They ruled the roost. I learned my place. I would come to serve them by doing my best to meet their expectations.
Yonkers was hard. I stood my ground; so did Yonkers. I had to earn my bona fides. It is a never ending struggle. The news beat is not a simple one. It is intricate in its complexity. It has a tempo, a rhythm, a pulse, and an ethical demeanor. Yonkers is governed from the top down. Challenges are not easily accepted. There will always be a right, there will always be a wrong; my task was to introduce “fairness” into the equation. It is an ever-ending task that must be forged no matter the foe, no matter the issue. Fairness is the glue of accommodation often derided as naive. Fairness has proven to be lasting even beyond right and wrong because fairness permits each to survive to the next issue, the next concern, the next challenge, intact, or somewhat so.
For the Yonkers Tribune the hurdles were many. An Internet Service Provider (ISP) had often taken our operation offline despite having paid for the service a year in advance. Next we suffered the indignity of being relegated to not be accessible in Yonkers City Hall and the Yonkers Board of Education; the Yonkers Tribune and every porn site imaginable. Access is still not permitted; we survived, our readers are the indomitable acid-tongued bloggers of the Yonkers Tribune. I know that because the New York Times designated us such many years ago. Word spread that none consider advertise within our pages. the courts demanded we hand over Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. We refused. It was a turning point for the Yonkers Tribune.
Our resolve to be fair and equitable to as many voices I was made aware was earning the Yonkers Tribune credentials. We earned the reputation of being hard and tough; people also learned we were fair and balanced. The Yonkers Tribune was the civil side of a hot-blooded, incendiary taskmaster Hezi Aris. Maintaining an open mind prior to, during, and after those heated moments permitted me to chill, distilling in the process a balanced approach offended by issues, behavior, innuendo, or agenda, while exposing the demerits of the overall conduct of its proponents. This reporter was taking on the system at every turn, or perhaps, as much as I could, because that is what the acid-tongued bloggers demanded.
As in all times, and at every time, new demands were asked of this reporter, of the Yonkers Tribune. Bucking the trend from the Internet to the print world, The Westchester Herald was born. It attempted to bring the tone, demeanor learned in Yonkers throughout Westchester County. It lasted two years in print, and can now be found exclusively online.
For some the vehicle of choice is the tactile sensation one can only appreciate in print. The Kindle, iPad, and other such devices supplant the modality of delivery of news, newsprint, and the like to an ever growing readership. No matter the modality, relevance is based on content. Pertinence is based on interests. All can only be accomplished by bringing a triumvirate of attributes to heel.
Content speaks for itself. Relevance is brought forward by an engaged organization which can only dispense its worth by financial ability and its ancillary promise for longevity. Sam Zherka, the so-called bad boy of publishing working with Hezi Aris, tempered by the acid-tongued blogger contingent is a logical evolution to media landscape. Financial viability, relevant content and pertinent coverage.
This writing is not meant to alter any perspective of those reading. It is simply a telling of fact. As in al new ventures, credibility will be earned. It will be the reader who will judge its relevance, its content, its pertinence, and its fiscal viability.
Coverage will expand with additional reporting staff whose focus will be where we all live and work, Westchester County. Politics will be on the front plate, not to advocate personalities or specific agenda but to expose positions and to decipher its impact over a broad swath of concerns. It is politics discerned by knowing, watching eyes. None need recoil from our presence; the reporting will be fair. When we stray, your letters to the editor will assuage those concerns. The Yonkers tribune and the Westchester Herald will maintain their independence to afford you an opportunity for daily news updates. The Westchester Guardian will create a synopsis of that which transpired over the week and jump start your into the week ahead.
A new chapter has opened to reveal the Westchester landscape in a discerning light sure to captivate your interests. Besides politics, issues regarding education will be studied, local history celebrated, economic development discerned in all its ramifications and given notice for its contribution to the community’s health or its detraction form it. A community calendar of events, secular and religious will be made. "Globe-hopping" by Barbara Barton-Sloane, or somewhat closer to home with Lee Daniels; automotive reviews conducted in Westchester County will be part of Roger Witherspoon’s "Shifting Gears" column. Former Mayor Koch’s political Commentary and Movie Reviews are the rage. Former Parks Commissioner Henry Stern’s "New York Civic" column focuses on more politics. Scarsdale based Larry M. Elkin's Palisades Hudson Financial Group writes "Current Commentary", while critics and supporters will write to have their voices heard. Bob Weir’s "Weir Only Human" will grab you with his intellect. I don’t want to tell all in one writing. It will be hard hitting. It will be honest and passionate. I want you to be surprised. I want you involved in what Mr Zherka and I want to prove to you is worthy of your time.
The Westchester Guardian will surprise Westchester. It has matured in concept. We have matured. This is a new beginning for you and us. This week’s edition will begin by immersing your senses by the reading of The Hezitorial. Its a teaser. There is more to come next week. Promise.
The continued viability of the Yonkers Tribune, Westchester Herald, and Westchester Guardian will be maintained.