Launching Culver City Crossroads more than seven years ago was a brave and crazy thing to do. Setting out was a running jump into the unknown. It’s been an amazing stretch of time; these years have also been a national revolution in the creation and the consumption of news on all levels. Seven years ago Facebook had far fewer users, Twitter had just launched, and daily newspapers made of actual paper were still widely used as a prime source for news. Culver City has seen half a dozen media outlets, both magazines and websites, open and close.
The past – you have probably already noticed – is over.
It’s time to upgrade.
I often tell my yoga students “If you want your life to change, you have to change your life.” This gets a laugh, and usually a sigh because most get the implication – wanting things to change is human nature, but creating actual changes takes time and effort.
So it is with websites covering local news.
As a writer, I tend to be a reader. But people reading news have been supplanted by people scanning a news feed, people looking up videos, and people messaging each other on multiple platforms. It may give us a lot more information, but gathering and sorting that information can be very time consuming. Just keeping up with Facebook takes time, and when you add in Twitter, Instagram and NextDoor, well, there goes the whole day. Worse, at the end of that day you may not have anything more interesting that a plea to find a lost cat, a recommendation for a plumber, a group photo of your children’s friends around a birthday cake, and a list of the five hottest coffee bars in the county.
While the broad access has widely increased the amount of information going around, it has also wildly decreased accuracy and accountability. Verifiable facts have just about gone about the window, while emotion and innuendo are blocking the door.
If you are not reading the Los Angeles Times, The Daily News or The Daily Breeze, you are not reading journalism. If your sources of news are The Huffington Post, Facebook and Twitter, what you are getting is popular opinion. Culver City’s local news scene is even more of grab bag, with sites, threads and apps proliferating – some open, some invite only and all of them boiling over with data.
In the interest of better serving our readers, we will be making some changes. While we gear up for our relaunch, Culver City Crossroads will be going dark for a few weeks. Our commitment to five stories a day, five days a week will be waiting in the wings while we test out the new template, play with the plug ins, shoot video and research features.
What we can tell you now is that our new site will have the ability to run video rather than just link to it, so you will be watching news as much as reading it. We will also offer notifications for comments. We will be ending some of our columns and introducing some new features. AND we’d love to hear from you – if there is something you want to see on the site, let us know. The moment is now.
As ever, our mission will remain focused on getting people connected and involved. We will be locked into news about our city government and our school district, about our creative community and our social and economic growth. You need to register and you need to vote. We can have the community that we want if we commit to creating the community we want.
News is the information you need to take action about the things that matter most.
Before we go there, deciding what matters most is what matters most.
Culver City Crossroads.com will be back, brand new, by the end of the year. It’s time for a radical rethink.