Bailiwick News is a free, independent newspaper offering reporting and critical analysis of Centre County public affairs, with a focus on public corruption, government accountability and ecological resilience.
Editor and Publisher Katherine Watt – firstname.lastname@example.org
- 2009 – 2015 – Contributions to Centre Daily Times. Informally blacklisted after July 5, 2015. Back issues.
- Sept. 2013 to Sept. 2014 – Print edition of Steady State College. Focused primarily on local energy and food systems. Back issues.
- 2015 – Contributions to Voices of Central Pennsylvania. Back issues.
- September 2016 – Bailiwick News launched. Focused on local water, land use and criminal justice systems. Back issues.
Why is it called Bailiwick News?
The newspaper is called Bailiwick News to reflect the status of the Centre Region populace as subjects in a neo-feudal system of oppression, rather than self-governing citizens in a functioning Constitutional republic.
Within Centre County, Penn State’s unelected, unaccountable corporate administrators play the role of landed gentry in historic feudal economies.
Centre County municipal legislatures and bureaucrats play the role of obsequious courtiers, while presenting to the public a false front of “democratic” legitimacy.
The Pennsylvania legislature and courts uphold the subjugation of the citizenry by enforcing two, unequal sets of laws: one for corporate interests, concentrating power in the hands of corporate profiteers through legal tools used to trample public interests and destroy ecosystems, and another for individuals, stripping them of legal means to throw off profit-driven, bureaucratically-managed oppression.
Bailiwick News supports the work of reforming or replacing current legal, political and economic systems to restore the power of individual citizens to meaningfully govern the affairs of our communities.
Dan Froomkin, 2006
Mainstream-media political journalism is in danger of becoming increasingly irrelevant, but not because of the Internet, or even Comedy Central. The threat comes from inside. It comes from journalists being afraid to do what journalists were put on this green earth to do…
There’s the intense pressure to maintain access to insider sources, even as those sources become ridiculously unrevealing and oversensitive. There’s the fear of being labeled partisan if one’s bullshit-calling isn’t meted out in precisely equal increments along the political spectrum.
If mainstream-media political journalists don’t start calling bullshit more often, then we do risk losing our primacy — if not to the comedians then to the bloggers.
I still believe that no one is fundamentally more capable of first-rate bullshit-calling than a well-informed beat reporter – whatever their beat.
We just need to get the editors, or the corporate culture, or the self-censorship – or whatever it is – out of the way.
Seymour Hersh, 2007 (interviewed by Matt Taibbi)
All of the institutions we thought would protect us — particularly the press, but also the military, the bureaucracy, the Congress — they have failed. The courts…the jury’s not in yet on the courts. So all the things that we expect would normally carry us through didn’t. The biggest failure, I would argue, is the press, because that’s the most glaring…
Q: What can be done to fix the (media) situation?
[Long pause] You’d have to fire or execute ninety percent of the editors and executives. You’d actually have to start promoting people from the newsrooms to be editors who you didn’t think you could control. And they’re not going to do that.”
Topics of Interest
- Water Systems – History of work toward developing a regional integrated water resource management plan; current status; in-depth reporting on proposed Nestle water bottling plant.
- Food Systems – Food production in Centre County; existing and proposed local food policies.
- Land Use – Relationship between Penn State enrollment growth, luxury private student housing development, sprawl, destruction of farmland, and lack of affordable workforce housing; in-depth reporting on Patton Crossing development plans for hotel complex to replace wooded former mobile home park.
- Sewage Treatment Systems – Relationship between population growth, land development, Act 537 Plan, University Area Joint (Sewer) Authority planned upgrades for odor control and other measures, Penn State’s planned expansion of the university sewage treatment plant off University Drive, and taxpayer/ratepayer costs for same.
- Air Quality and Climate Change – Penn State energy system, planned addition of natural-gas fired Combustion Turbine/Heat Recovery Steam Generator to West Campus Steam Plant, emissions from fuel extraction, transport and combustion.
- Zoning – Coverage of historical and current relationship between local zoning codes, local political power and community planning over time; State College Borough’s current zoning code overhaul, relationship to high-rise construction, population growth, impacts on water, sewer and transportation systems
- Penn State Administration – bloat, corruption capture by oligarchy; relationship to tuition increases, staffing (i.e. adjunct v. tenured); relationship to governance structure and PSU exemption from Right to Know and State Ethics Act; current state legislation to reduce size of Board of Trustees and impose RTK and State Ethics Act on state-related universities.
- Penn State Real Estate – Data collection, organization and presentation of Penn State-owned property in Centre County, tax exemptions, PILOT agreements, and relationship to land development and municipal tax revenue.
- Regional Government – structure, bloat, duplication of services, capture by oligarchy, dispersion of accountability; relationship of elected legislatures to appointed administrators, chartered municipal authorities and appointed municipal authority boards.
- Economic development – prioritization of taxpayer subsidies for extractive and destructive multinational corporations, disadvantaging indigenous, human-scale economic development.
- Justice System – Aftereffects of Stacy Parks Miller corruption of District Attorney’s office and Centre County judiciary; updates on DA Bernie Cantorna’s reform work; need for truth and reconciliation process to address harms to Centre County citizens.