Tuesday Oct 19 2010
Residents treated to candidate 'robocalls'
By: Don Chaddock, Telegraph Managing Editor
While this ol’ newspaper guy has seen quite a bit of mudslinging in regional political races, I think I’ve just about heard it all after the weekend’s automated calls for a certain Folsom City Council candidate. Called “robocalls,” Folsom’s Mike Kozlowski employed the tactic to make a case for his bid to take one of the three open seats on the council. I’ve seen robocalls used in state and national races, but I don’t recall ever seeing this fairly pricey campaign trick used in a local race. Slick mailers are commonplace, of course, but robocalls? Kozlowski failed to make a convincing argument for his candidacy at recent forums and did not receive the endorsement of The Folsom Telegraph or Folsom Chamber of Commerce. Kozlowski hopes to unseat one of the incumbents — Kerri Howell, Steve Miklos or Andy Morin. Other challengers in the race include Jaya Badiga, Alexander Munoz and Lindsey Woodward. Will robocalls be the answer? I guess we’ll find out Nov. 2 when voters hit the polls. For your local election coverage, check out our paper on Nov. 10, or visit us online at folsomtelegraph.com to get up-to-date results on election night. Newspapers in a digital age I’ve recently spoken to the California Writers Club as well as the Folsom Rotary Club. My topic has been “The Role of Community Newspapers in a Digital Age.” With 21 years in the ink-slinging business, I’ve seen more changes in the last five years than I did in the 16 years before that. When I started in 1990, we still did paste-up, had a room of typesetters, hand-cut our color for some feature illustrations and used film to create images of the pages to be burned onto metal plates for the presses. Now we layout our pages in a computer and when they are ready for plating, we push a button. But those changes pale in comparison to the domination of the Web in our industry. Some say it’s the end of newspapers. I wonder if these are the same folks who were around during the heyday of radio? Yes, when radio was introduced, the death of newspapers was predicted. Then came television. At that time, the deaths of newspapers and radio were predicted. Why would anyone want to read a paper or listen to the radio when they could see moving images? Then came personal computers and the Internet. Again, radio and newspapers were going to suffer an agonizing death. Then came Web-enabled cell phones and laptop computers. This spelled the end of the traditional desktop home computer, TV, radio and newspapers. See where I’m going with this? They are all still here. Whenever a new technology comes around, it threatens the existence of the previous technology. But newspapers are adapting to the changes. You’ll find we now have a Twitter account and Facebook page. Rather than hiding under our desks, we’re embracing this evolution of our industry. When breaking news happens, we’re now only a click away. Telegraph managing editor Don Chaddock can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.