Media News / Bay Area News Group bullies the TriCity Voice

9 Nov

Media News Group (AKA The Argus AKA Oakland Tribune AKA San Jose Mercury) has sued The Tri-City Voice<a. Apparently the big corporate boys feel that they are the only ones worthy of collecting money for publishing legal notices.

I don't know about you, but I've noticed the tension building up for some time. Below is an impassioned letter from Sharon Marshak, owner of the Tri-City Voice.

We need all the people we can get into court. We need them to be a witness only. They will only sit and listen. We are hoping that if the Judge can see the community is interested in having Tri-City Voice Newspaper… that she may not let the Media News people put us out of business.

Thank you for your help…

Court date Friday November 18th 2:30pm
Department 516 – Judge Brenda Harbin-Forte
Hayward Hall of Justice
24405 Amador Street
Hayward, CA 94544

A major source of income for newspapers is legal notices that make the community at large aware of court regulated actions. An example of this is when a business opens under a “fictitious” name or a city is about to enact a new ordinance. The public is notified through a notice in a “Newspaper of General Circulation.” This designation is gained through a court process (adjudication) certifying the newspaper as one that is able to circulate information so it is reasonable to assume that the public is informed. These notices, required by law, are a major source of income for many newspapers and therefore, jealously guarded.

Tri-City Voice was awarded such adjudication but subsequently denied through a legal challenge by Bay Area News Group (which includes Oakland Tribune, Hayward Review, The Argus, Milpitas Post, Fremont Bulletin, San Jose Mercury and many other Bay Area newspapers). Archaic laws and the business model of Tri-City Voice have been a point of contention, but now Tri-City Voice is fully qualified for such adjudication in the City of Fremont even under these outdated statutes.

A series of questionable rulings by the courts has blocked adjudication for Tri-City Voice in Fremont. Courtrooms without public witnesses are a recipe for interesting developments in which arguments, comments and judicial actions are hidden from public view. This has happened repeatedly when Tri-City Voice has made its simple request for acknowledgement as a Newspaper of General Circulation. In every instance, BANG has challenged in order to maintain its monopoly. Since the public has been absent from prior courtroom performances and therefore uninformed of this process, an astounding amount of time, energy and money has been spent on this simple request.

The real reason for all of this is corporate greed, maintenance of a monopoly and an attempt to deprive Tri-City Voice of vital income, hopefully driving it out of business. In response, we are informing people of an upcoming court appearance scheduled for Superior Court in Hayward (Dept. 516) on November 18 at 2:30 p.m. Judge Brenda Harbin-Forte ruled that Tri-City Voice cannot move forward to present evidence of its qualification for status as a Newspaper of General Circulation, referring to a previous decision by Judge Hernandez. This court appearance is to ask for a reassessment of this decision.

Tri-City Voice vigorously disagrees with the conduct and arguments of BANG’s attorney Duffy Carolan of Davis Wright Tremain, LLP (San Francisco) and the prior ruling of Judge Harbin-Forte. We have filed another motion for trial and feel there should be public presence in the courtroom to bear witness. It is imperative that those who attend, simply watch the proceedings and maintain a neutral manner since judges have ultimate power and can use any emotional display to derail Tri-City Voice efforts. This is simply an opportunity for the public to see a courtroom in action and understand some of the processes that have been used to block our efforts. Also, it helps to have a few friends in the courtroom for moral support.

Sharon Marshak
What’s Happening Magazine
Tri-City Voice Newspaper
510-494-1999 Voice
510-796-2462 Fax


4 Responses to “Media News / Bay Area News Group bullies the TriCity Voice”

  1. Freemont November 9, 2011 at 8:31 pm #

    Argus has consistantly reduced its investment of time and energies covering our community while Tri City Voice continues to provide almost exclusive coverage of the local area AND has increased its publishing frequency.

    Argus local reporters coddle and cajole City Hall while simultaneously poking fun at community action groups such as FCN. Tri City Voice maintains its advocacy of the public interest by remaining ever critical of the local political process.

    Argus doesnt want to cover our community AND seemingly by these actions, does not want anyone else doing it either.

    These actions by Argus are contrary to the broader public good of our community. Argus cannot beat Tri City Voice toe-to-toe on the merits of their product alone, so, seemingly – they are intent on tying them up in court until TCV has little choice but to abandon their effort.

  2. Nancy Vicknair January 3, 2012 at 11:20 pm #

    eventually this cash cow for all papers will be gone…to the internet! sharon, we might as well kiss the old days goodbye. i am gonna read my alameda patch/com and to cry.

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