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Friday, November 02, 2007

Gazette ignores Prince George's legislators

(Posted 2 Nov 2007)

I almost never see a paper copy of the Gazette. No named local edition of the Gazette purports to cover my inside the Beltway neighborhood (which seems to have been redlined by both the Gazette and the Examiner). The nearest library rarely has copies out, and when they do it is for an edition covering a distant part of the county to which I never go. And I have no idea where to find a paper copy of the weekend Gazette of Politics and Business.

I do, however, read the online versions of both the Prince George's and weekend editions.

As I read through both this week looking for stories on Gov. O'Malley's tax and slots proposals, I saw many stories quoting various legislators from other parts of the state.

I'll admit that I may have missed something, but other than repeated quotes of Sen. President Miller, who lives in Calvert County and represents a small piece of Prince George's, I was struck by the large number of quotations from Montgomery County legislators compared to the very small number from Prince George's County members.

In most cases, when Prince George's legislators have been quoted about taxes or slots recently, they have been members from the three districts closest to Montgomery County, not from the other five districts.

One November 2 Gazette article "Keeping their cards close to their chests" has several paragraphs about the new owners of Rosecroft Raceway and the poll they sponsored showing that a majority of residents favor slots. But the article makes no mention of the 26th district senator and delegates and what they might have to say on the issue--or the reaction of the many Prince George's County members who have opposed Rosecroft slots in the past. I would like to know their responses to this new poll, but I guess the Gazette (and other mainstream media outlets) don't think that would be newsworthy.

Do our local Prince George's County members really have little or nothing to say? Do they avoid the press? Do Gazette staff members tend to focus on other parts of the state while ignoring most Prince George's members? Does the Gazette lack reporters with contacts in the Prince George's delegation? Just why do we appear to be the Gazette's stepchild on this issue?

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