Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Trust in Mass Media Returns to All-Time Low

Americans' confidence in the mass media's (television, radio, and newspapers) ability to report "the news fully, accurately, and fairly" has returned to its previous all-time low of 40%, according to a Gallup poll released today.

Though a sizable percentage of Americans continue to have a great deal or fair amount of trust in the media, Americans' overall trust in the Fourth Estate continues to be significantly lower now than it was 10 to 15 years ago.

Gallup speculates that as the media expand into new domains of news reporting via social media networks and new mobile technology, Americans may be growing disenchanted with what they consider "mainstream" news as they seek out their own personal veins of getting information.

Trust among Democrats, who have traditionally expressed much higher levels of confidence in the media than Republicans have, dropped to a 14-year low of 54% in 2014.  Republicans' trust in the media is at 27%, one percentage point above their all-time low, while independents held steady at 38% -- up one point from 37% in 2013.

Perceived Media Bias by Party Affiliation 

As has been the case historically, Americans are most likely to feel the news media are "too liberal" (44%) rather than "too conservative" (19%).  One in three (34%) say the media are "just about right" in terms of their coverage -- down slightly from 37% last year.

Conservatives (70%) are far more likely than liberals (15%) to perceive the media as too liberal. Moderates' views are closer to liberals, with 35% calling the media too liberal. Likewise, relatively few moderates -- similar to conservatives -- think the media are too conservative.

Democrats -- with a small majority of 52% -- are most likely to think the media are just about right, while a mere 18% of Republicans feel this way about the news. More than seven in 10 Republicans say the media are too liberal.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Brevard County Awards EDC $1.4 Million Grant Contract

UPDATE:  The County Commission voted 4-1 to award a $1.4 million no-bid grant contract to the EDC with Commissioner Trudie Infantini being the sole no vote.  Infantini said that she did not believe that the grant to the EDC was legal because the County did not place the grant contract, which she considered to be a services contract, out for a competitive bid pursuant to the County's procurement policy.

VIERA, Florida -- On the Brevard County Commission September 16, 2014 Meeting Agenda is a proposal from the County Attorney's Office to substantially modify the existing service contract between the County and the Economic Development Commission of Florida Space Coast (EDC) in an attempt to evade the responsibilities of the new requirements of Florida's Sunshine Law.

According to documents filed with the Commission, County Attorney Scott Knox is recommending that the County Manager's Office be designated the economic development agency of the County.  "The effect of the resolution will be to formally require requests for economic development confidentiality exemptions from the public records laws to be filed directly with the County Manager, thereby expressly leaving the EDC in its current role as a private economic development agency," Knox wrote in a memo to Commissioners.

Knox also proposes that the current service contract between the EDC and the County be changed to a grant contract.  "The grant agreement is proposed in lieu of renewing the services agreement which could possibly bring the EDC under the public records law in accordance with the recently enacted s. 119.071, Florida Statutes," Knox wrote.  "Though the EDC must still conform to public records laws and exemptions thereto with regard to EDC record[s] specifically related to a county project, as defined in the agreement, all other records of the EDC - including contact lists, telephone records, and leads would remain private records free from disclosure to competing economic development agencies in Florida and other states, as well as to competitors with EDC projects."

The proposed grant amount from the County to the EDC is $1,400,050 - the same amount as last year's service contract between the County and the EDC.  According to the County Manager's proposed budget, County spending on economic development will nearly triple in the 2014-15 fiscal year because the County will spend an additional $3.2 million on the newly-created North Brevard Economic Development Zone.


News Associations To File Legal Briefs In Florida Sunshine Law Case

County Commission Votes To File Legal Brief Against Clerk of Court

EDC Job Creation In Doubt As Brevard County Budget Nears

Miami Herald: 6,100 jobs promised for Brevard, 0 confirmed

Tampa Bay Times: New frontier for Space Coast jobs

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Brevard County Primary 2014 Election Results

Brevard Times Projects Jim Barfield Winner In County Commission District 2

MERRITT ISLAND, Florida -- Brevard Times projects that Jim Barfield has won the Brevard County Commission District 2 race.

Brevard Times Projects John Tobia Florida House Winner

BREVARD COUNTY, Florida -- Brevard Times predicts that Representative John Tobia will be the Republican nominee for State House District 53.

Brevard Times Projects Thad Altman Senate District 16 Winner

BREVARD COUNTY, Florida -- Brevard Times predicts that State Senator Thad Altman will retain his Florida Senate District 16 seat.

Brevard Times Projects John Moser Circuit Judge Winner

BREVARD COUNTY, Florida -- Brevard Times has projected John Moser as winner of the Florida 18th Judicial Circuit for Brevard County, Circuit Judge Group 23.

Brevard Times Projects Susan Stacy Circuit Judge Winner

BREVARD COUNTY, Florida -- Brevard Times has projected Susan Stacy as winner of the 18th Judicial Circuit for Brevard County, Circuit Judge Group 19.

Brevard Times Projects Robin Lemonidis Circuit Judge Winner

BREVARD COUNTY, Florida -- Brevard Times has projected Robin Lemonidis as winner of the 18th Judicial Circuit for Brevard County, Circuit Judge Group 14.

Brevard Times Projects George Paulk Circuit Judge Winner

BREVARD COUNTY, Florida -- Brevard Times has projected George Paulk as winner of the 18th Judicial Circuit for Brevard County, Circuit Judge 13.