The Freedom of Information Act or FOIA as it is commonly known, is one fantastic law that is meant to keep us duly informed. The spirit and intent of the law simply embodies the essence of a true and vibrant democracy while adhering and supporting the first amendment.
As a media person, the first amendment is what I hold sacrosanct. Unfortunately, some officials obviously do not feel the same way.
There was an official who even lamented that he has the documents we are requesting for ready and available and all we have to do is make a formal letter request to him and he will get it prepared; although prior to that, we already emailed to him a FOIA request, still at the end of the day, after numerous back and forth rushing on our part and a waste of useless man hours, this fella still had treated it as a FOIA request.
How independent can this official get!
My unsolicited advice to the concerned officials – comply accordingly with FOIA requests and stop looking for ways to circumvent it. The people have the right to know and no one is above the law!
It is truly a big wonder as to how come the Pacific Daily News (PDN) had not bothered to tap an independent and credible auditing firm to audit and certify their circulation. But more thought provoking (or is it?!) are some of these advertising/marketing executives whom I have personally encountered who act and appear as though they are the masters when it comes to the dynamics of print advertising. After letting us go to the ringer only to be flimsily refused with their ads at the end of the day, has been a bit surprising as we never imagined that the tentacles of the powers that be have mangled into their balls (assuming these guys even have any balls to speak of).
At any rate, if they don’t want to support a free and independent press, that is their right and I can only hope that at some later point in their lives, they or their loves ones will not find the need for a free and independent press.
When one talks about circulation, one does not merely rely on the say so of the publisher. Claims without substantive credible basis are merely claims, no more no less.
When one talks of circulation, my understanding is it refers to the number of copies being sold (including pre- or postpaid subscription) and/or given for free to the public.
The question now with PDN is what is their sold and complimentary circulation? Twenty thousand (20,000) copies circulated on a daily basis (15,000 during Sundays as they claim) for a community 180,000 is quite a huge number.
And where does that leave the circulation of the Daily Post?
At least in our case, what we say we print is what we circulate, all for free; and we can easily prove and substantiate that as we air-freight from the Philippines this paper (should our financial position improve, we hope to be able to do printing on-island). All one has to do is request to see the paper work from the shipper and customs, as declared therein is the weight of the newspapers.
Unfortunately, those Senators who played footsy-footsy with the retroactive salary wage increases will have to bear the brunt of the electorate in due time. This, I am certain of. To the proponents of this immoral and illegal retroactive increases (as I truly believe it is illegal, despite the seeming semblance of having gone through the legal process), perhaps one of this lawyers out of a sense of civic duty should take this issue to the supreme court so it’s legality or illegality can once and for all be confirmed.
However, come Tuesday (Nov. 10) on the public hearing, some of these Senators might still get to redeem themselves and/or bury themselves deeper into the rut of this highly unpopular increases. Unless they truly believe that their re-election will simply be dependent on the Governor, his cabinet, and the Mayors, and if this supposedly learned and wise legislators truly believe that they can just scoff of the public, then by all means make my day. Vote for the status quo. After all, I can only pray that this will be your last term.
We will now take a one (1) month break from publishing this paper (THE PEOPLE’S PAPER). Our next (8th issue) will be out on December 6. Urgent business concerns need to be addressed mostly in terms of finance. But despite the break which should be a breeze for us all, among our lofty ideals is to print at least 10,000 copies (one of the immediate challenge) when we resume publishing. And as to the frequency, whether we publish on a weekly or bi-monthly basis remains to be seen at this point. A daily paper with this population is simply a joke, only in Guam!
However, rest assured that we will bring to you the inside stories as candidly as possible.
A luncheon fund raising is in the offing and we hope for your support as we hold our formal launching on December 5 during the fund raiser luncheon on that day.