As a regular reader of the Santa Barbara Independent and a former journalist, I have long noticed the Independent staff’s annoying tendency to write about themselves, but lately it’s been striking me as especially unprofessional and self-serving. I am not referring to columnists or op-ed pieces, but about the paper covering its own Christmas parties or bar-hopping; first-person pieces masquerading as objective reporting; and recently an entire cover story about a reporter’s wedding. This week, in the new calendar section, we are treated to a picture of a reporter and his birthday for us to note.
Of course I wish everyone a happy birthday, but what is so special about this person’s birthday that valuable space is being taken up to tell us about it? A community paper should be held to the same journalistic standards as any other credible news source if it is to be respected – the reporters are there to tell the stories, not tell stories about themselves.