For over a year now I have been gradually orchestrating an exodus from Illinois, as I consider the state of Illinois to be a rife with bureaucratic dynasties and fiefdoms constructed on the foundation of "it's not what you know, it's who you know."
Everyone I know has nothing good to say about their supervisors, managers, bosses, and anyone appointed by politicians to manage something. They got their positions based on their relationships rather than their knowledge, and the fabric of properly functioning society in Illinois is rapidly losing threads in the form of people who have actual skills and knowledge.
Over the years I have been minimally maintaining a certain number of Internet domain names and Social Media accounts (SPFLD.net, SPFLD.tv, BachelorTimes.com, and many others), hoping that one day a void will be created by the collapse of the main-stream media. Until today, I was preparing to drop those domain names altogether, or hand them off to other local media talent before I left Illinois for good.
Now, Gatehouse Media has me thinking about staying and hanging on to those domain names. Gatehouse Media has been gradually consolidating the State Journal-Register, stripping away pieces from Springfield a little at a time, laying off Springfield staff little-by-little in a strategy one might call "creeping normality."
Today I heard that Chris Britt, Springfield's own political cartoonist for the State Journal-Register was, shall we say, "let go." One of very few liberal progressive voices left in Springfield. I'm reminded of Mark Thoma getting fired from WMAY AM 970, a local radio station where Jim Leach now remains as the one token liberal voice. Somehow that's supposed to make the radio station "balanced."
Springfield, Illinois is a hotbed of conservatism. There are enough conservative business owners in Springfield who, if offended by liberal progressive views, will pull their advertising and cause financial shock to the local main-stream media outlets.
Since local businesses have an overwhelming grip around the throats of all local media outlets that are dependent upon advertising for their survival, the only honest information can be found in media outlets that get all of their funding from subscribers. Not even PBS or NPR can escape influence because they have corporate sponsors.
The only remaining honest sources of information are from people who have independent sources of income, and who can disseminate their information freely to anyone who has access to the Internet. Springfield, Illinois has thousands of independent voices that fly in the face of corporate main-stream media, what else explains why the State Journal-Register is shriveling up into a dry, empty husk of its former self? Answer: because their only subscribers are dying of old age.
I've been working the night shift and sleeping all day. I think every five minutes or so, about leaving for the west coast, leaving Illinois behind me forever. But, now there will soon be a massive void in the form of local news media that will need to be filled with unbiased information grounded in reality, rather than one-sided perspectives. There may be a business of my own making in my future, and new careers for writers, photographers, videographers and artists.
I just need to organize a plan of action, acquire the facilities for the means of production, and develop a revenue stream for the effort. It's going to be a strange new model, but I can only do so much out of my room in my mother's condominium.