Our Continuing Love Affair With Beverly Hills
From the Publisher Clif Smith
All of us at The Courier have a pure love affair with Beverly Hills – we love our City, our people, our businesses, our community. So much for “objective” journalism. This is our family and our community and we take great pride in publishing your newspaper for you.
Speaking of “objectivity,” we all know that “love” works both to support and help, and sometimes that “help” means pointing out things that need fixing or could stand improvement. When suggestions – or exposes – become part of our duty as the “newspaper of record for the world of Beverly Hills, we try to do our duty with that feeling of love. We tell the truth – and that is the ultimate test for “objectivity.” As we told the newspaper from Los Angeles in their silly article about us, “We are The Beverly Hills Courier, not the Beverly Hills inquisition.”
Nothing brings us more happiness than to see our efforts rewarded by our readers. 2013 was a record-breaking year for The Courier. Our readership is at an all-time high as measured by opinion polls from independent research organizations. With this new “digital” world we live in, nothing says “success” more specifically than actual digital readership results. This world of “unique visitors” and “page views” and “impressions” and hits is largely ambiguous because of computer programming. So what really counts? That answer is a constant debate.
What is not ambiguous is the number of actual people who have signed up to receive The Courier’s “breaking news” and e-edition on-line. We started 2013 with 11,784 registered subscribers. We enter 2014 with 22,816! Even for Beverly Hills, nearly doubling our subscribed on-line readership is quite an accomplishment. Did we do anything to promote this? Well, actually, no. We did not. We just tried to do our best to report on Beverly Hills as fairly and accurately as possible. Our www.bhcourier.com main website draws over 300,000 unique visitors each quarter and we get over 1 million “page views” or “impressions” each week. “Google” “Beverly Hills News” and you probably get us right at the top. That’s what our “readership-building” efforts consist of.
What goes behind this? Answer: a dedicated staff over 9 writers and editors and a dozen or so other staffers whose full-time job is to cover “the world of Beverly Hills.” We continue to subscribe to Agence-France Presse which we find provides the most objective reporting of the Middle East. We remain a staunch supporter of Israel. We are confident we distinguish accurately between real “news” and propaganda. In fact, we believe we do a better job of that than the “mainstream media.” We just don’t’ take press releases and repeat nonsense (at least we try not to). Nor do we treat propaganda as entitled to the same acceptance as the truth.
For Beverly Hills, we remain solidly opposed to Metro’s tunnels underneath our only high school. All the political and financial resources of Los Angeles and Chicago developer interests have lined up against Beverly Hills. Their attacks are vicious and false – only The Courier has stood by our Beverly Hills Unified School District Board of Education since day one. We have exposed the “sell-outs” in our community and got back a hate campaign designed only to save the political life of a local elected official. We ask: “Where is our Human Relations Commission on the hate campaign?” Well, that hate campaign is in the past so let’s move on.
We exposed the excessive compensation paid our City workers and their up-to-13-weeks paid time off dispelling the fiction that our city employees are underpaid. We note that the average City salary vastly exceeds the median household income of residents of 90211 and 90212.
We congratulate our own people whenever and wherever we can. We take pride in our fine hotels that set the standard for the world, including the recognized #1 Peninsula Beverly Hills. Our five- and four-star hotels are the standard for courtesy and service – besides Peninsula, we can boast of The Beverly Hilton, The Beverly Wilshire, our founding hotel The Beverly Hills Hotel, the new Montage Beverly Hills, L’Ermitage, and our smaller hostelries. Wolfgang Puck’s flagship Spago, Peter Garland’s Porta Via, the Dragos’ many fine restaurants, Il Cielo, La Scala, The Blvd., Belvedere, Polo Lounge, Bouchon, our steakhouses, The Grill on the Alley, La Dolce Vita, Ruth’s Chris, Puck’s Cut, Fleming’s, Mastro’s, casual Urth Caffe’ and the others meet and exceed the exacting standards of Beverly Hills.
“Beverly Hills” is a world standard. Every week in print and every day on-line, our entire Courier family feels the pride and pressure of living up to these standards. It’s been noticed. Former Sen. Joseph Lieberman paid us the supreme compliment when he visited Beverly Hills recently to take on Metro for BHUSD, “I read your articles.”
Please continue to read our articles. You know they written with love, affection and truth.