Bubblehead The Journalist
The rise of citizen journalism, or "blogging", has been chronicled on many of the best and most prestigious web sites. As Meridian, Idaho's most-read blogger, I decided to try my hand at this new and exciting phenomenon by covering the city's most anticipated event of the week: the official opening of the Locust Grove overpass over I-84. I knew from the local print newspaper that this would be an event no serious Meridian journalist could miss:
Idaho Transportation Board member Monte McClure will be joined by Senate Transportation Committee Chairman John McGee, Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd and Ada County Highway District Chairman John Franden to officially open the overpass by crossing it in a Meridian fire truck. They will be joined in a parade of local emergency responders, including a special appearance by Santa Claus.I headed over to the ceremony at about 1:45pm. I had to be home by 2:30 so my daughter could take the car to class, but I figured, with my keen journalistic insight, that there's no way such a ceremony, which would probably draw 20 people tops plus the guy who lives in the dumpster at the Kwiki Mart right next to the overpass, could last more than 15 minutes.
Before the ceremony started, I did what every good journalist would do -- I took some pictures. Here's a picture of Santa handing out candy canes to young children from the nearby Day Care:
And here's a picture of the refreshments they offered the crowd. That's Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd gesturing on the left side of the table:
Here's a dramatic view of the distant Boise Foothills from a perspective never before published -- from the top of the new Locust Grove overpass! Must credit Bubblehead!
And here's the overpass itself:
Finally, the crowd settled in for the festivities. Note the "traditional" MSM is all stuck in one place, providing only one perspective of the event, while your maverick citizen journalist has struck out on his own to give the public a fresh look at the powerful and beautiful in Meridian:
As you can see, I was way off in my prediction of how popular this event would be; this either says something about my predictive powers, or how boring Meridian really is. (Note that I'm very happy Meridian is boring -- that's the reason I live here.) About 7 minutes late, the official program started:
Unfortunately, I had to leave before they even finished introducing the dignitaries in attendance; as I mentioned, I had to get my car home for my daughter. As a result, you'll have to read about what they actually said in the dead tree and 'tron media. Still, this experiment proved that Citizen Journalism is alive and well in Meridian, Idaho. Please note that even though I had to wash dishes and play Guitar Hero prior to writing my article, it's still posted before the local newspaper has a story up. Blogging can not be equalled for its immediacy of coverage and snark!
As a citizen journalist, I know it's important that I express outrage at some aspect of today's events, so here it is. While all the bigwigs of Meridian were busy congratulating themselves for opening up an overpass (not even an interchange, and one that has overpasses one mile on either side of it anyway), they weren't doing anything about the local plague of blanket-molesting cats I've warned about earlier. Here's what I found when I got home:
Where was Mayor de Weerd when this was happening? Eating doughnuts with Santa in the middle of the street, that's where.
Update 2306 29 Nov: Here's a link to a story visitors to a local TV station website were able to read and see several hours after I broke this important story -- and their story contains not one picture of doughnuts or Santa! On the other hand, the Editorial Page Editor for the local newspaper was kind enough to offer some constructive criticism of my article (especially my inexplicable failure to "connect the dots" between my fat cat and the fatcats at the ceremony); I guess some MSM guys aren't completely old-fashioned.