Because of the lack of communication and transparency by the Board of Directors, residents in the St. Augustine Shores are often confused about what is really happening in the community and what differentiates news from views. They are left to rely on (2) two community papers with completely differing views, The St. Augustine Shores Civic Advocate and the St. Augustine Shores Observer. We refer to both of these publications as papers not "NEWS" papers for specific reasons.
A newspaper, by definition, contains news, views, features, and other information of public interest. News is defined as informal information of any kind that is not previously known to someone and is worthy of being reported, ie; newsworthy. In reaching the conclusion of what is truly newsworthy, one must look to the journalistic standards and ethics of the reporter. A true news organization must be willing to provide facts, report honestly and be willing to be held accountable to the general public as a result of his/her reporting.
In order to be held to such standards, and be recognized as a truthful and credible source of information, the journalist must verify facts, statements and events before reporting. To be considered news, an article must state actual facts and not be written as an article meant to slant public opinion one way or the other.
Although neither of these papers hit all marks with regards to being classified as a newspaper, based on the definition - contains news, views, features, and other information of public interest, the St. Augustine Shores Observer fails miserably and receives a Grade of D for the following reasons;
Contains News - GRADE D
The Observer states that its function is to serve the St. Augustine Shores Community and report news that directly affects St. Augustine Shores. Unfortunately its reporters only publish information that is deemed to be favorable and newsworthy to a select few. News regarding issues and concerns which impact the residents of the community is left on the cutting room floor.
Views - GRADE F
The Observer states that the publishing or submitting of letters and information is at the discretion of the publisher. Differing views from those of the publisher are never accepted for publication.
Features and other information of Public Interest - GRADE C
The Observer misses the mark in this category as well. The publisher fails to understand the demographics of the St. Augustine Shores Community. While the Observer does a great job reaching out to a select few in the Senior Circuit, the balance of the community is ignored.
The St. Augustine Shores Civic Advocate has much work to do in order to reach true newspaper status as well. As the longest running publication in the St. Augustine Shores, published by the St. Augustine Shores Civic Association since 1973, it does provide newsworthy information which affects the residents of the community. Less bias would help to provide a higher grade and add more credibility to those news stories. However, the Civic Advocate doesn't claim to be a newspaper and does hold true to the traditions of the St. Augustine Shores Civic Association. For this reason, The Civic Advocate is awarded a Grade of B+ for its effort. Below are the traditions of SASCA and how we grade them in carrying out those traditions.
- Promote goodwill and fellowship among residents of the community - B
- Inform, Educate and Entertain St. Augustine Shores Residents - B+
- Provide an open forum for the presentation and discussion of community business and concerns. - A
The views expressed are those of the editorial staff of the St. Augustine Shores Communicator, the only online blog for Shores' Residents.