Interview with Chuck Lavine, NYS Legislator

On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, New York State Assemblyman Charles “Chuck” Lavine discusses the relationship between government and the media with Nancy Oley of the Long Island Media Task Force. Focusing on Long Island, he describes sources for development of legislation and constituent messaging, the successes and failures of local media, the pluses and minuses of social media, fake news, bias in content and coverage, missed stories, net neutrality, protection of journalists, and the case of Julian Assange. Assemblyman Lavine sponsored a resolution commemorating May 3, 2019, as World Press Freedom Day in New York State.

Interview with Meg Norris, Editor of Garden City News

Meg Norris took over editorship of  Garden City News more than twenty years ago from her father.

In 2018, she wrote editorials critical of the Garden City Village Board for its management of St. Paul’s School, a Garden City landmark. The Village Board then withdrew its public notices from Garden City News, in apparent retaliation, in January 2019. The incident was reported in the New York Times in early February, 2019.

We interviewed Meg in June of 2019, to delve more deeply into the story. We learned that there was much more to it than had appeared in the Times, and that the more serious issue of openess, required by law in New York, had been raised.

We’ll be presenting the interview in two parts; part 1 is below. This story continues to unfold, even now.

New York Library Association warns of budget cuts

Walk into a public library, and what do you see? People reading books, magazines, and newspapers. Children doing homework. Others using the internet. Some will make use of historical online databases. Our libraries make all sorts of media available to us, and preserve the local history of each community.

Now libraries are expected to play a key role in the 2020 census. There is a plan to conduct the census largely online, with libraries providing online access for many who would not otherwise have it. Many New Yorkers are concerned about undercounting.

But as the New York Library Association has recently pointed out, the proposed New York State budget for 2020 includes substantial cuts to library funding. And this on top of an existing backlog of funding needed for library upgrades, including internet.

The good news is that activism has helped to restore proposed cuts in previous years. We can help by contacting our representatives in Albany.  See Speak Up for Library Aid for more information, and how to take action.