AAN tells IN to try again next year

June 21, 2006

Independent News – Pensacola, FL
The Vote: 3 yea, 6 nay
The Committee declines to recommend for membership.

You've got to admire owner-publisher Rick Outzen's enterprise and editorial output. He's all over this paper — in the promising news section, anyway — "boosting a local business one minute, bashing Bush the next." He's also on a local city council, but says he's stepping down in November.

But Outzen can't do it all, and the paper suffers for not having other competent contributors.

  • "The arts coverage is universally tepid, and the 'interview' with Barney the dinosaur was so embarrassing I still cringe every time I think that it ran in an alt-weekly."
  • "If the paper can't add staffers, then it needs to hire more good freelancers to develop more of a local voice instead of New York Times south."
  • "Why a columnist from the St. Pete Times? Maureen Dowd? With limited space, why 'News of the Weird'?"
  • The film reviews are also syndicated.

Conclusion: "This paper has its eye on the ball, but some editorial choices lead to excessive head scratching."

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2 Responses to “AAN tells IN to try again next year”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    ANN said :
    “But Outzen can’t do it all, and the paper suffers for not having other competent contributors.

    * “The arts coverage is universally tepid, and the ‘interview’ with Barney the dinosaur was so embarrassing I still cringe every time I think that it ran in an alt-weekly.”

    Rick,

    As a member of the Board of the Arts Council I must admit to a “smirk” while reading the above, and offer a suggestion; Perhaps you could hire Mark O’Brien. He did a really credible job bashing opera-going Republicans for not getting involved in local politics.

    I might also suggest that the INWEEKLY comment on (not an arts topic) this – It took you 10 hours to drive to Little Rock; when I attempted to evacuate Opal from Gulf Breeze, it took me 11 hours to get from Gulf Breeze to Evergreen Alabama, because of the bottleneck of Hwy 113 that chokes the Hwy 29 access to I-65!

    I don’t think anyone can truly disagree that a Maritime Park ($40 mil) would enhance our community, as will the “Place on Palafox” ($30+ mil) but both take on the appearances of “fiddling while Rome burns” when there is no viable northerly hurricane escape route.

    And another comment. The mentally ill were booted on to the street by the Regan Administration in 1983 as I remember. To this day many migrated from the streets to the jails and back again. Ergo there is a salient link between the homeless, the mentally ill, and the jails. However, since the year 2000 there have been 12 deaths in the Escambia County Jail! Correlate that.

    Thanks for being a part of our community.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    In the end, I think the decision to not let us in will be a blessing. As committed as we are to defying the status quo, it does us some good to look inward now and then and scrutinize our own.

  3. anonymous Says:

    Hey Rick, the real story about your trip to Little Rock should be how a city turns their downtown from having very little to do five years ago to what it is today by using a major development project (the Clinton library) as a catalyst for redevelopment. Sound familiar? And another thing…if you looked across the river from the Peabody, surely you also saw (gasp!) the new baseball stadium being built across the river on the waterfront. I’ve got a great idea…let’s send Charles Fairchild up there to Save Their City and leave us alone to redevelop our downtown. Keep up the good work-

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