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SPOTLIGHT REPORT

Alternative Press: The Texas Observer

Photo: The Texas Observer Photo: The Texas Observer cover Photo: The Texas Observer cover


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For more than 50 years The Texas Observer has considered itself a forum for telling the unpleasant facts or political realties of politics.

Photo: Texas Observer Editor Jake Bernstein"Journalism is the stuff that people don't want you to know," according to Editor Jake Bernstein. "Everything else is public relations. Unfortunately a lot of what passes for journalism these days is public relations and that's what we don't want to see and what we don't have in The Texas Observer."

With all the media consolidation that's going on these days The Texas Observer is often alone covering controversial political stories and has made a point of covering money in politics.

"We've been able to show how people like the Texas Chemical Council have actually paid for legislation," said Bernstein. "No one else is making those connections in the way that we do."

As the ownership of newspapers and television stations -- once owned locally -- moves into the hands of large corporations, many people feel that this independent voice is even more relevant.

Photo: Molly IvinsMolly Ivins, a former columnist with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, says huge media moguls don't call and tell their reporters what they can write.

"But what they say is 'Ah, our property in Fort Worth is not producing the same rate of return as our comparable property in Kansas City. We'll have to tell them to get their profitability rates up.',"says Ivins, a former editor of The Texas Observer. "What happens is they squeeze the staff and there's less and less energy to go out and dig up big stories, you don't have the time, you don't have the space."

The long-standing independent voice of The Texas Observer continues to dig for stories that no one else is telling. This biweekly magazine, produced in Austin, is another example of what makes Austin, Austin.

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