Most of us want to be informed voters. We want to be able to evaluate the candidates, proposed constitutional amendments and other referenda that are on our ballot. But it’s not easy.
We’re busy — working, raising a family, going to school, and/or simply enjoying the many wonderful things our community has to offer.
The world of information is in constant flux, which makes it even harder to be informed. Local papers are being closed or acquired by regional and even national media networks, and coverage of local and state government news has suffered as a result. In 2015, the Journal Media Group (which owned the Naples Daily News) was acquired by Gannett, the publisher of USA Today. Since then, there have been periodic staff reductions and consolidations of operations, the effects of which are impossible to miss if you read the Naples Daily News today.
At the same time, the internet has become an important source of news for us. But in response to the increasing pressure on the traditional news business, the websites of the newspapers that cover the state capital have been forced to charge for the content. Online readers can access only a few articles a month without having to become a “digital subscriber.”
Given all this, it’s no wonder that many Collier residents don’t feel as informed about state and local government as they’d like to be.
That’s why I write Sparker’s Soapbox.
The mission of Sparker’s Soapbox is “facilitating and encouraging informed voting and civic participation in Collier County.” I compile a monthly summary of news about our state and local governments, available at no charge by email (sign up here) or on my website.
If you appreciate our work, please support Sparker’s Soapbox. Your donation will help defray the costs of the digital subscriptions and of operating and maintaining the website.